#RioGoldRush: Jamaica launches track and field medal hunt
The much anticipated track and field segment of the 2016 Rio Olympics will take centre stage starting this morning.
The morning session will see Jamaica's, Fedrick Dacres competing in the men’s discus and Danniel Thomas in the women’s shot put.
Dacres, the national champion, is seeking to become the first Jamaican to medal in the event, but will have to throw a distance of at least 65.50 metres or finish in the top 12 to progress to the final when action gets underway at 7:30 a.m.
The 22-year-old, who made it to the final of last year’s World Championships, will be the second thrower to take to the circle in qualification group A.
Dacres, who has won historic gold medals at the youth and junior levels, comes into the games as the fourth best thrower in 2016 with a season's best mark of 68.02, which also stands as his personal best.
Thomas, the national women’s shot put champion, will be in action at 8:05 a.m. when qualifiers in her event are set to compete.
Thomas, who also would have gained invaluable experience at last year’s World Championships, will need to significantly improve on her SB of 17.60m to advance to the final, as the qualify mark is 18.40m or a top 12 finish.
The 23-year-old has a PB of 17.76, which was attained in July of last year.
- Ryon Jones
PROFILE - Fedrick Dacres
Age: 22 years old
High School: Calabar High School
Tertiary Education: University of the West Indies, Mona
Event(s): men’s discus
Personal Best: 68.02m
Became the first Jamaican to reach the final of the discus at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China
He won gold in the discus event at the 2011 IAAF World Youth Championship in Lille, France.
Captured gold at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain
He is Jamaica’s national discuss champion
Dacres underwent a surgery in 2014 after damaging his meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament
PROFILE - Danniel Thomas
Age: 23 years old
High School: Frome Technical High School & Edwin Allen High School
Tertiary Education: Kent State University
Events: Women’s Shot put
Personal Best: 17.76m
Competed at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing
Finished fifth at the 2015 Pan American Games
Thomas is Jamaica’s national women’s shot put champion