Smith determined to defend title
Elton Tucker, Assistant Editor - Sports
Defending Pan American Games decathlon champion, Jamaica's Maurice Smith, is oozing confidence ahead of Monday's start of the gruelling two-day event at the Telmex Athletics Stadium.
Smith, who was yesterday named captain of the men's track and field team, said he was really looking forward to the start of the competition.
"Things did not go well for me at the World Championships in Daegu. My nutrition was a big part of it. I changed my nutrition after the NACAC championships. I was trying to get protein from different sources ... . I just needed more time," Smith said in reference to his performance in Daegu two months ago. The Jamaican, a silver medallist in Osaka in 2007, dropped out of the decathlon after six of the 10 events.
Smith added that he was down for a meet in France after the World Championships but he skipped that to be fully ready to compete in Guadalajara.
Looking forward to the competition
"I opted out of that meet so I could get back into training and be prepared for the Pan American Games. I am looking forward to the competition here. My preparation has been going great so I am here to defend my gold medal and my record as well," he said.
Smith was now sure that a previous problem he had with throwing the javelin is now well behind him. He said it was basically a matter of technique.
"It was bad technique because when I first did the javelin in high school, I did not really learn the proper technique. Then throwing with the bad technique over the years I started feeling a strain, they call it 'tennis elbow' because it is a common injury with tennis players. But I have gone back to the basics, learnt the proper technique and it is not a problem any more. I can throw the javelin now without a brace so I am especially looking forward to that event."
The majority of Jamaica's athletes flew into Guadalajara on Thursday night. They came in at 11 o'clock after they were delayed in Dallas/Fort Worth. All looked to be in high spirits at the Games Village yesterday, on their way to their first training session with head coach Raymond Graham. Shot putter Zara Northover, who has her own official site, zara northover.com, is the female captain.