Smikle rising in the discus ... again
Fedrick Dacres isn't the only Jamaican discus thrower making progress this season. His training partner, 2012 Olympian Traves Smikle is also reaping the benefits of training at the University of West Indies with the guidance of Julian Robinson. Like Dacres, Smikle heads to this week's National Senior Championships with good throws under his belt.
Smikle punctuated the June 11 JAAA All Comers meet at the National Stadium with an effort that matched the 65 metres qualifying standard for the upcoming World Championships. The success comes after a tough period for the smooth left-handed thrower.
The 25-year-old Smikle had another promising throw - 64.94 metres - in the same series.
"In the competition, I threw 64.9m, which was very close and now 65m and to note that I've been having my struggles for a couple years now and to finally get the qualifier, I'm very happy and elated."
He wasn't just referring to time lost to a hotly contested doping violation. After a bright start to the 2017 season, he recalled battles with wrist and groin injuries.
"I got a groin injury," he recounted couple of days before the Jamaica Invitational, "so to be having all these things, it was very, very hard mentally to even to try to compete and getting back."
He paid tribute to the consistent urging of coach Robinson.
"I've built a lot of character because at the end of the day, his advice helped. I must thank God above everybody else for this performance," he concluded.
Smikle was third at the 2009 World Youth Championships while at Calabar High School. He produced a personal best 67.12 metres in 2012, but missed selection for the 2016 Olympics. He placed third at last year's National Senior Championships, but missed the Olympic qualifying mark.