Mon | Apr 6, 2020

2020 vision - Throws coach eyes bigger shot put distances for Thomas-Dodd as Olympics approaches

Published:Monday | October 14, 2019 | 12:34 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Danniel Thomas-Dodd could soon be putting the shot past 20m on a regular basis. That’s the view of Julian Robinson, who watched her win a historic silver medal at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Thomas-Dodd landed a disallowed throw right on the 20m line, tipping Robinson to pinpoint her potential for success next year at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“Based on what I saw in training and based on what I saw [in the women’s shot put final], I believe she can be a regular 20m thrower,” Robinson said.

The man who coached Fedrick Dacres to a discus silver added, “I think her throwing can be improved, and also, she’s going to get stronger. So it wouldn’t surprise me if she starts to throw 20m regularly because she is strong, she has a good grasp for the technique, and the technique can be improved. I’m extremely happy for her in more ways than one. She has good support now, and she’s performing at a high level, and you know, barring injury, I think she’s going to do very well in Tokyo.”

Thomas-Dodd clinched the silver medal with a last-round throw of 19.47m. One round earlier, she landed one far longer than her national record of 19.55m, which, incidentally, was the winning distance for China’s defending champion, Gong Lijiao.


“I believe that on another day, different officials, Danniel might have won the shot put,” Robinson said of what he thought was a close call to wipe the big effort from her series of throws.

The US-based Thomas-Dodd moved up from fourth in 2017 to win Jamaica’s first-ever World Championship medal in the shotput. With Dacres’ silver medal, the combined achievement proved that Jamaicans can throw. “Many persons I know have felt for a long time that we had the ability to cut it at the highest level, not just to qualify, because qualification is necessary, but we believed for a long time we were better than just athletes who can qualify. Athletes who can qualify make finals, and I am happy to see that come to pass,” the coach said gratefully.

He was nevertheless disappointed that no other Jamaican thrower reached a final.

“I’m grateful for the performance, but I think we could have done better. We could have made more finals, but it’s a process,” he concluded.