Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Dodd aims to exceed 19.15m

Published:Monday | July 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence

Danielle Dodd is hoping to improve her national shot put record of 19.15m. In addition, Dodd is aiming for the final of the IAAF World Championships next month and sees herself in the next generation of great shot putters. Understandably, she reckons she has good throws ahead in her career.

Speaking at the National Stadium while she watched the Last Chance Throws meet on Saturday, Dodd said her throws at last month's National Senior Athletics Championships are signs of big distances to come. "I'm still learning", she said of her growing comfort with the spin technique used more and more in the shot, "and it definitely shows that there is a lot more I can accomplish."

At the Nationals, she showed she was no one-throw wonder with throws of 18.80 and 18.68m.

"19.15 isn't where it ends," she declared.

NEXT GENERATION

Olympic champion Michelle Carter of the USA and New Zealand's all-time great Valerie Adams are 31 and 33 respectively, and the patient 24-year-old Jamaican thinks her time will come. "A lot of the female throwers are getting older", she observed, "so I see myself in the next generation of shot put throwers in the world." In the meantime, she notes her national record gives her a chance to get to the final at the World Championships. "Based on the history of the throws and, you know, what has made the finals in the last couple of years, even the Olympics, I think 19.15, if I can produce that again - and I think I can - it should put me in the finals."

The shortest distance to convey a competitor to last year's Olympic final was 17.76m. The corresponding distance at the 2015 World Championships was 17.71. Dodd, who emerged as a throwing prospect at Edwin Allen Comprehensive High School, was bumped early at both of those meets, but placed fifth at the 2015 Pan-American Games with a throw of 17.76m.

That was a personal best. Asked to place her improvement since then in perspective, Dodd acknowledged the prowess of her Kent State University coach Nathan Fanger and the support of her husband Shane. "It's just that I've become a lot more determined as to what I was hoping to accomplish, and with my coach and the support of my husband", she explained, "I was able to get up to that goal that I was working towards."