Record-breaking Smikle hopes to motivate
Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaica and Calabar's throwing star Traves Smikle, who yesterday smashed the national junior record and the meet record at the Inter Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys’ and Girls’ Athletics Championships inside the National Stadium, is hoping that his exploits will serve as motivation for upcoming throwers.
Smikle, who was competing for the last time in front of the Champs crowd, posted the mark – the best by a junior in the world this year and the fourth best in history, with his very first throw. He credits his new attitude for his improved performances.
“I’m deeply amazed and really happy seeing that its my last year and so my victory is one that I hope will inspire the throwers to come, seeing that I left a decent mark,” said a smiling Smikle.
The 19-year-old, an IAAF World Youth Championships bronze medalist in 2009, improved on last year’s 58.56m silver medal finish behind former teammate Chad Wright. He believes his greater commitment towards training and technique development, contributed to his improvements.
“My attitude towards the weights training and also the throwing training really helped me to improve this year,” said Smikle.
“I really didn’t like lifting (weights) as much as I should but this year after some deep reflecting, I determined to come out and work even harder.”
The Julian Robinson-coached athlete, who also made the finals at the IAAF World Junior championships last year, said that he was expecting to throw in the region of 65m yesterday, having registered a 63.96m distance at the Youngster Goldsmith meet earlier this season.
“I expected at least 65m and over today, so to get the 66.88m is a real thrill for me. I was hoping to get over 60m at the opening round and I have to thank God for that,” Smikle said before noting that he will now turn his focus to the Carifta Games, which is scheduled for the Montego Bay Stadium in Catherine Hall, April 23-25.
“The Carifta Games, is on in a few weeks so I’m just going to go back to the drawing board and prepare for that as I look to represent my country to the best of my ability,”
“The aim is the IAAF World Championships so in order for me to compete against the senior guys, I have to be at a certain weight with each implement, so I set a mark and I told myself that I need to pass this mark so that I can become competitive at the senior level,” Smikle added.