Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Smikle wants to improve

Published:Friday | December 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Traves Smikle

World Championships discus finalist Traves Smikle is happy about his big throw at last week's Tyser Mills development meet at G.C. Foster College, but he is hoping for more.

The smooth lefthander powered his disc out to a distance of 64.61 metres last Saturday, but he just wants to improve. He views his good start to the 2017-2018 campaign as the result of hard work and training with two-time World finalist Fedrick Dacres.

The 64.61m is his third-longest throw of the year behind heaves of 65.00 and 64.91 metres, respectively, at an all-throws meet in Kingston on June 11. During a hard training session at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies earlier this week, Smikle was already looking ahead.




"All I can say now is that I'm very happy," he said, "but I'm still focused on improving, so I think I'll be throwing this weekend again so I get another opportunity to throw far."

Smikle and Dacres will be back at G.C. Foster College tomorrow for the Gerald Claude Foster Over Distance and Field Events meet.

The 2012 Olympian believes that he is deriving great benefits from training with Dacres.

"When we are competing in the gym, in the circle, or even simple running and like athletic drills," he related, "we're always competitive."

"We push each other," he said of Dacres and fellow thrower Basil Bingham, "and we're hoping that we could push each other to higher heights." Their training partnership has already borne fruit, with Dacres placing fourth and Smikle eighth in the World Championship final.

Coach Julian Robinson has retooled Smikle's training regime with an emphasis on fitness and flexibility. Sporting some extra size, the recent University of the West Indies graduate revealed, "Throughout out the whole camp at World Championships, I'd been having a series of back spasms and flexibility issues, so it's not where I want it to be, but it's much better."

Altogether, he has a bright but pragmatic view of 2018.

"Optimistic and realistic," he said, "because I had a good season opener, and all the throws were over 60 even the ones that I fouled."

The 25-year-old, however, isn't fooled by his good start. "So, yes," he concluded, "I've thrown 64.6m, but for the meets coming forward, I have to reproduce and go even better."