Sun | Sep 24, 2017

London 2017 | World Championships Medal History - Richards Made The Breakthrough

Published:Tuesday | August 1, 2017 | 8:00 AM
Richards

In the third round of the shot put at the 2015 World Championships, O'Dayne Richards took the lead with a booming throw of 21.69m. That national record equalling throw eventually earned him the bronze medal and made Jamaican track and field history. It was the first time that the island had a thrower ascend the podium at the World Championships or the Olympic Games.

Richards has a compelling record. As we speak, he is the reigning Commonwealth and Pan-American Games, and in 2011, while at the University of Technology, he won the gold medal at the World University Games. Last year, the MVP Track Club thrower fought past knee surgery to reach the Olympic final. Simply put, he is the finest thrower Jamaica has ever produced.

Recently, he added 27 centimetres to his national record to stretch it to 21.96m. That puts him in contention for a repeat medal when the 16th World Championships begin in London on August 4.

Richards, retired shot putter Dorian Scott, and discus ace Fedrick Dacres are the only Jamaicans to reach throwing finals at the Worlds. Scott was in the 2007 final, and Dacres made it to the 2015 discus final.

There is a chance that Danielle Dodd could become the first Jamaican woman to reach a World Championships throwing final. Her national record of 19.15m, done in June, makes her sixth on the 2017 world-performance list.

The men's shot is one of four World Championship events in which Jamaica has won just one medal. The others are the men's decathlon, where Maurice Smith took the silver in 2007 with a national record score of 8,644 points; the 110m hurdles in which Hansle Parchment glided to second place in 2015; and the women's triple jump. That is the discipline won by Trecia Smith in 2005.