Sun | Oct 2, 2022

Richards makes plans for Worlds ’23, Olympics

Wants to move past disappointment with NACAC Games

Published:Wednesday | August 10, 2022 | 12:09 AMOrane Buchanan/Staff Reporter

NINE-TIME National Champion O’Dayne Richards is slowly putting the disappointment of his sixth-place finish in the final of the men’s shot put at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, on the back burner.

Speaking with The Gleaner, the 33-year-old says despite achieving a championship best effort of 19.90 metres, well below his personal best of 21.96 metres, he wasn’t totally disappointed in missing out on a podium finish.

“I wasn’t heavily disappointed at the time. I did my best on the day, but after reflecting and thinking about what I had expected to throw, I became even more disappointed as time passed and as I analysed my performance,” said Richards.

Next on the agenda will be the upcoming NACAC Games in the Bahamas from August 19-21. Richards, back in 2018, won the bronze medal and says he’s eager to get back to that form which brought him some level of success.

“Well, I’m hoping to replicate or improve on that performance,” he said.

Richards, who is also the national record holder with his mark of 21.96 metres – that came back in 2017 – says the possibility of getting close to that mark soon might not be on the cards.

“I’m about 20 per cent there, or less,” said Richards.

Still, Richards is already eyeing how he can turn disappointment to fortune when he gets to the World Championships next year and the Olympics in 2024.

“Yes, it will be a stacked season. Of course, this season, or the latter part of this season, is a base I’m setting for next season and I hope to improve on all that I’ve done so far in preparation for those major upcoming championships,” Richards concluded.

Richards has had a career littered with bright moments, winning the Commonwealth Games back in 2014, and bronze at the World Championships back in 2015, months after winning the Pan American Games, but has only managed to make the final of one Olympic Games, an eighth-place finish in Rio.