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Stable coaching, experience to help Dodd in London

Published:Monday | July 17, 2017 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence

Stable coaching and built-up international experience could be the launching pad for shot putter Danielle Dodd as she approaches the World Championships in London. Dodd intends to stay with her Kent State University coach even though her US college eligibility is complete. In addition, she thinks her exposure in top-level meets will be an asset in London.

"I'm definitely going to stay with my coach in Kent, Nathan Fanger", she pronounced in Kingston recently. "He took me from where I was in the last five years, so I think he can take me further, which is the reason why I'm going to stay with him," she said. The 24-year-old national champion threw 16.10m in her first season abroad. Steady improvement has seen her win the NCAA Championships last month with a Jamaican record of 19.15m.

That mark could put her in the London final. She does not expect to be fazed there by the presence of big stars like Olympic champion Michelle Carter of the United States and New Zealand's all-time great Valerie Adams. With the Olympics, the Pan-American Games and the 2015 World Championships on her sporting rÈsumÈ, Dodd said, "I've kinda gotten comfortable competing with these girls.

"There's going to be a little nervousness", she accepted, "because it's competition, but in terms of being intimidated by them, knowing that they throw far, I don't think I'd have the feeling anymore."

She gained some of that big-meet experience throwing the discus at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. However, that discipline has taken a back seat in Dodd's career. Though she was eighth in the discus throw at the 2013 NCAA Championships, she proffered, "I didn't throw it a lot last year and I definitely didn't throw it a lot this year, because I think that, you know, focusing on the shot put would be beneficial for me."