Richards looks to regain confidence
Disappointed with his 19.22 metres mark at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai yesterday, Jamaica's World Championships shot put bronze-medal winner O'Dayne Richards is hoping to regain his confidence even as he works to recover to full fitness as soon as possible.
Richards, who just over two months ago had a metal rod implanted in his shin to correct a stress fracture, says he is not yet comfortable to push himself too hard and is aware that he has his work cut out for him if he is to return to or improve on his accomplishments last season, with the Rio Olympics now in sight.
Yesterday's competition was won by American Kurt Roberts in a season's best 21.40m ahead of Tom Walsh (New Zealand) 21.20m, and World champion Joe Kovacs (USA), 20.82m.
"I'm disappointed with myself. I expected to throw a little bit further, but I have to be thankful. I had a rough start to the season and to open with 19.22m shows that I have a lot of work to do," Richards told The Sunday Gleaner yesterday.
'LITTLE BIT SCARED'
"I wanted to throw, I would say around 20.22m. Throwing a metre less shows that there are some parts that are lacking. I am not necessarily in competition shape just yet and my confidence level is not so great right now because of the knee, but, in time, I hope to get better," he said. "I am a little bit scared to go fast on it, but I would say its (knee) about 80 to 90 per cent in terms of being healthy.
"I had a stress fracture in my shin and they implanted a metal rod in the shin bone through the knee, so the knee itself is weak because of it. And I guess I just have to heal some more and build back my confidence," added Richards, who was making his first appearance of the season.
Richards' next competition will be at the Prefontaine Classics in Eugene, Oregon, set for May 27 and 28 at Hayward Field.