Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Standing tall, walking around the International Zone of the Olympic Village, young Jamaican discus man Traves Smikle looks quite at home among some of the world's biggest athletes.
Smikle, the former Calabar High schoolboy who shattered records at will throughout his junior years, is now away from making his first appearance at an Olympic Games and despite his coach Julian Robinson's absence, the youngster, now 20 years old, is not perturbed; quite confident in his own abilities to do well in London.
The athlete noted his experience at the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone (Italy), where he won a bronze medal in the event without his coach's presence, and added that he will have to apply the same principle of strictly adhering to his instructions.
"Training has been going well, sometimes it's good and then there are times when it is bad," Smikle said. "Because my coach isn't here, I can't really get a direct and immediate opinion about my form and technique, but overall it has been a good experience for me and I'm looking forward to the competition.
"In 2009, I was in Italy without my coach and I just got certain instructions and followed them and this time it's no different," Smikle said. "It would be good to have him, but the fact is that he is not here, so I have to improvise and make the best of it, go out there and do my best.
"We speak every day and I send him videos and the communication is still strong," Smikle added.
Smikle, who threw 67.12m to win the Jamaican Olympic trials last month ahead of national record holder and his teammate here in London, Jason Morgan, says he has been taking this his first Olympic experience in stride and getting himself ready for what really matters, the start of competition.
"To be honest, I am really happy to be an Olympian and I'm just taking everything in stride, putting in the work and I hope that I'll go beyond just being an Olympian in the coming weeks," Smikle told The Gleaner. "Going into the championships I feel good, I'm just going to focus on my technique and go out there and give it my best.
"I'm still not a 67m thrower because I threw that mark once, what makes me a decent thrower is reaching that standard regularly so I would call myself a 64m thrower right now," said Smikle, who along with Morgan will start competing on Independence Day, August 6.