Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Hawthorne eyes rich haul of medals at CAC

Published:Sunday | July 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming
Smikle
Danny Hawthorne
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BARRANQUILLA, Colombia:

Danny Hawthorne, head coach of Jamaica's athletics team at the Central American and Caribbean Games, is expecting a number of medals from his charges as the team bows into action today in Barranquilla, Colombia.

"This is a very large team, and it is also endowed with quality athletes. I have watched them in training each morning, and they have shown a high level of tenacity and commitment," Hawthorne said. "We should be seeing that medal podium very often."

The veteran coach is expecting two of his throwers, Traves Smikle and Basil Bingham, to kick off the medal hunt when they contest the men's discus final today at 6 p.m.

"Smikle and Bingham are two of our top throwers, and with their exploits over the years and their form recently, I am expecting them to do well in that event tomorrow," Hawthorne said.

Smikle, who won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year and who is also ranked sixth in the world with his season's best throw of 67.72 metres, will start as favourite.

But his training partner, Bingham, is hoping to provide some competition as he seeks to get back into that 60m range.

"My aim for this meet is to win a medal and a get a personal best (PB)," said Bingham, who has a PB of 60.77 from last year. "I am trying to surpass 60 metres and get something close to 65m and even better. I have been training and I have been seeing a lot of improvement."

Before the men's discus throw final, Nesta Carter and Javoy Tucker will contest the preliminary round of the men's 100m at 5 p.m. while Jura Levy and Jonielle Smith will grace the track for the women's equivalent 30 minutes later.

Rhonda Whyte and Rushell Clayton will seek to advance to the final of the women's 400m hurdles when they face the starter for the semi-finals at 6:15 p.m.

Annsert Whyte will continue his comeback from a 2017 season that was rife with injuries when he contests the men's 400m hurdles at 6:30 p.m. The 2016 Olympic Games finalist had a good showing at the National Senior Championships when he captured the title in 48.80 seconds.

Shawn Rowe will also face the starter for the event.

The semi-final rounds of the men's and women's 800 metres races will also be contested today. Seasoned campaigner Simoya Campbell and Fellan Ferguson, who is representing the country for the first time, are scheduled to run at 6:50 p.m., while Janauney James will go at 7:05 p.m.