Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Dacres growing in belief

Published:Monday | August 8, 2016 | 8:00 AM
Fedrick Dacres practises during a Jamaica team training session in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:

Only three men have thrown farther than Jamaican discus thrower Federick Dacres, and after improving his personal best in a topsy-turvy season, Dacres says he is approaching this Olympic Games with greater belief in his ability.

Dacres, who miraculously recovered from an ACL injury just in time for last year's World Championships in Beijing, says his 68.02m done at a meet in California, USA, in April is an indication that he is ready to mix it up with the best on the planet.

"I must say, it seems a bit clichÈ, but I am blessed. Not a lot of persons will come back from the injury I had like I did, so I am really thankful," Dacres said.

It has been a solid transition for the University of the West Indies student, who has matured impressively from the Calabar High boy who won gold at the World Youth and World Junior championships in 2011 and 2012.

Dacres says he will be using last year's experience in Beijing to help him approach the competition here in the best possible psychological frame.

"I think I have a good chance; it will all depend on my execution. But once I take care of that, I think I have a very good chance to be successful here," Dacres said. "I am focused on the preliminary round, and once I get through that, then I can start really thinking about a possible medal, so I'm just trying at this point to get everything together and start off in the best possible way."

"Last year was my first senior international meet and it was a really good experience for me. I got a feel of it and I know now that I am ready and I know that I can compete with the big guys."

Only Poland's Piotr Malachowski, 68.15m, and German brothers Christoph (68.06m) and Robert Harting (68.04m) have bettered Dacres' mark this season.

"Hopefully, I can throw that sort of distance here. But I am positive. At this point I feel good, I feel very good," added Dacres.

"The season was up and down, but I got a personal best and that shows that I am growing, I am improving, so that is something to be happy for."

- A.L.