André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Veteran Jamaican triple jumper, Trecia Smith, has hailed fellow Olympic Games finalist Kimberly Williams as the island's future in the event. However, Smith made it clear that she was not quite ready to step aside, eyes fixed on next year's IAAF World Championships.
Smith, the 2005 World champion, finished seventh in the final with a season best 14.35 metres, one position behind Williams, who posted 14.48m.
After an injury-laden couple of seasons, Smith left the triple jump pit quite pleased with her effort, fully motivated to make one last run at another international medal.
"I am happy with that performance," Smith told The Gleaner. "My season wasn't the best of seasons, so for me to finish where I finished is a good thing for me. So I'm going to take that and work on it for next year."
Smith is, however, impressed with the development of 23-year-old Williams, who has impressed all season, capping her first Olympic Games appearance with a 14.48m jump in the final. Williams also achieved her personal best here, leaping to 14.53m in the qualifying round.
"Like I told her (Williams) in warm-up, one more year and then the baton goes to her," said Smith, who also won gold medals at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games. "I don't think that I have jumped my potential, and until I have done, that I'm not quite satisfied.
"This is the best I have felt in such a long time, but no, one more year and then she can have it all to herself. She is a very good replacement," added the three-time Olympian.
"I will definitely try for the World Championships next year because my body feels really good, and if I had as much competition as these girls, I probably would be jumping much better and now I would have been in a much better place; but it is what it is and I am grateful," Smith added, before breaking down her series of jumps.
"It was good. It was the first Olympics where I was totally relaxed and having fun. In Beijing, I wasn't in any sort of form. Athens, I was in form, but I picked up an injury at the competition and there was a lot of pressure on me then, but I was very relaxed here," Smith shared.
"Here, I started with two fouls ... I actually found some rhythm, but the ones that I got the jumps in, I got the hop, step but didn't finish, or ran, and didn't get the hop and step," Smith said.
Smith suffered a hip injury last year and also had battles with injuries to her ankle in recent times.