Hammer time! - Raynor looking to throw his way into the spotlight
Over the past five years, Jamaica has been staking its claim in athletics events that are not synonymous with the country's rich history in the sport, having won medals at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in the men's discus throw and men's and women's shot put.
Former Kingston College athlete Cannigia Raynor is seeking to add to that growing trend, as he is trying to become the first Jamaican to compete in the men's hammer throw at a World Championships or an Olympic Games.
Raynor, who was introduced to the event at Johnson County Community College in the USA five years ago, believes the exposure the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is providing him will enable him to realise that dream.
"For me, I want to see it (hammer throw) at the next level. It's been an awesome year this year. I have gotten the opportunity to compete at the Commonwealth Games, The Athletics World Cup, and now I am at the CAC Games and these opportunities will only help me to achieve my goal, which is to compete at the World Championships or Olympic Games," he said.
"What I want to do is improve to be able to represent the country at the World Championships and Olympics to entice the youngsters to want to take up the event."
The 27-year-old is scheduled to compete in the final of the event today at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games at 5 p.m.
"I have been practising well for the past few days and so it should be fun," Raynor, who owns the national record at 70.93m, said.
According to Raynor, there has never been a better time for the event to grow than now as the track and field fraternity has become more receptive to non-traditional events because of the recent success of other throwers.
"If you look at the disciplines of discus throw and shot, we are flourishing in them now and it's because O'Dayne Richards, Traves Smikle and Fedrick Dacres started to do well and we see people like Kai Chang (World Under-20 discus champion) and Roje Stona (Carifta Under-20 discus champion) following suit now, so I am hoping to do that for the hammer throw," he explained.
Raynor said that he and the organisation are also plans by him and the association to introduce the event to coaches and athletes through some training clinics.
"We are working on that now, but they (JAAA) want to take it in stages, so that part should come in the next couple of years," he said.