Thu | Jan 23, 2020

Pinnock eyes Tokyo Olympics

Published:Wednesday | January 15, 2020 | 12:29 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer

Wayne Pinnock, the outstanding long jumper from Kingston College, has an attempt to make the Jamaica team to the Tokyo Olympics on the radar.

That’s the word from his coach, Jeremy Delisser, who says Pinnock is looking good in training so far.

“So far, so good,” related Delisser on January 11, on the state of Pinnock’s 2020 preparations.

“We have been taking it a little bit slower this year. Last year was a long season, had a little niggle towards the end of the season, but so far he’s on track, looking good and keeping healthy,” he said of the 19 year-old, who won gold in the long jump at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships, the Carifta Games and the Penn Relays.

After his record-breaking leap of 8.05 metres at Champs, some experts have predicted a bid by Pinnock to reach Tokyo.

“Last year, the World Champs was not really a main focus because it was an exam year and so on and so forth, but this year, now exams are out the way, he did well, on to sixth form, so it is one of the stepping stones we’re looking at,” Delisser said.

Among those who think highly of Pinnock’s chance is Kerry Lee Ricketts, who coached his own wife, Shanieka, to silver in the triple jump at last year’s World Championship in Doha, Qatar.

“There’s a young guy at KC, Pinnock, who definitely 8.20m is not beyond him,” said Ricketts earlier this month.

The Olympic qualifying distance is 8.22 metres.

Pinnock turned his back on football after reaching the 2017 World Under 18 long jump final and according to the coach, it’s a choice that has paid dividends.

“He’s looking to transition now to the next level academically, looking to move on to university and multiple opportunities are there. It’s just for him to sit down with his family and sift through and decide on the next move. So I’d say definitely yes. He has no regrets with the decision. Clearly, of course, from time to time, he still will go play some football and enjoy himself, but no regrets there,” said Delisser.

Pinnock is also a fine 110-metre hurdler.

In addition to winning the long jump, he lowered the Class One record to 13.06 seconds at Champs last year. The old mark – 13.10 – belonged to two-time champion and 2018 Commonwealth Games finalist, Dejour Russell.