Westney expects throwers to make breakthrough
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaica's field events and throwing coach here at the Olympic Games, Maurice Westney, has heaped praises on the country's throwing corps and is expecting special performances, particularly from youngster Traves Smikle (discus) and Dorian Scott (shot put).
Scott is returning to the national set-up after withdrawing from the team to last year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, in order to take up a coaching job at San Diego State University as assistant coach, while Smikle, 20, will be making his first appearance at an Olympic Games after winning at Jamaica's national trials with a 67.12m effort.
Westney, who has been ensuring that Smikle follows the programme submitted by his personal coach, Julian Robinson, has been left largely impressed with the form and technique shown by the former Calabar man and is expecting him to turn a few heads here in London ... and at least make the final.
"It's rather interesting; we have a young Traves (Smikle) and when we were in Birmingham (pre-Olympic camp) we had this speed camera that we used to analyse his biomechanics and I thought it was very impressive," Westney told The Gleaner. "Potentially, he should be in the final, and then you just never know what can happen from there."
Smikle's 67.12m season and personal best ranks him as the 14th best thrower in the world this year, but Westney, who coaches at G.C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport and is making his third trip to the Olympic Games, has seen enough from the youngster and expects him to be among the 12 or eight who make the finals.
"Traves is not too far from the top and I think Dorian is also doing very well and has been working well in training, those two are in particularly good shape," Westney said, before pointing out that the country's field event athletes are also looking to do well here as well.
"We are really looking forward to a very successful Olympics, but not only on the track itself, but also in the field. This is our country's 50th anniversary and everybody is looking to do well," Westney said.
Jamaica qualified four throwers to the Olympic Games, a rarity for a country more renowned for its sprinters. National record holder Jason Morgan will join Smikle in the discus event, while Allison Randall is the lone female discus entrant.
"Jason (Morgan) also has a chance and has been working well, so has Randall, but I have been very impressed with Traves and Dorian in particular, and generally each one motivates the other and at the end of the day we will all celebrate each others' successes," Westney noted.
Smikle and Morgan are on the verge of becoming the first Jamaicans to represent the country in the men's discus at an Olympic Games.
Randall is only the second Jamaican woman to compete in the discus at the Olympic Games, after Marlene Lewis in 1984, while Dorian Scott is the only Jamaican shot put Olympian, after his participation in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and his expected competing here.
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