Dacres unsatisfied despite win
Fedrick Dacres, the world's top discus thrower, got his 2019 campaign off to a solid start at the Fuller Memorial at Manchester High School on Saturday. Though he felt his technique was somewhat off, Dacres cranked out a consistent series of throws to win over his training partner Traves Smikle. Elsewhere in the meet, World Under-20 bronze-medal winner Wayne Pinnock produced a big mark in the long jump.
Dacres launched three of his four legal throws over 64m, with his best taping out to 64.65m in the second round of the men's event on the expansive Manchester High School grounds. With his first and fourth efforts measured at 64.35 and 64.15 metres, respectively, he outdistanced Traves Smikle, who opened his 2019 endeavours with a pleasing throw of 62.59m. "I wouldn't say it was a good day," Dacres assessed, "because, you know, I don't think my technique was where it was supposed to be, but barring injury and everything, I feel good."
Dacres said he and Smikle, who placed first and second last year at the Commonwealth Games, respectively, used the meet to establish a marker. "It was more like a technical day to see where we were so we can build on that now," he explained. "So, with the marks today, I think it's okay to say that we're on our way, but we're not there yet."
The left-handed Smikle was pleased with the longest season-opening throw of his career. "It's the best I've opened in any season, 62.5," he said afterwards, smiling "and you know, obviously, technique needs work, but I'm grateful."
Dacres had two other throws over 60 metres.
Also gaining plaudits was former Petersfield High School thrower Glenford Watson, who came third with 59.57m.
Calabar's Kai Chang, the 2018 World Under-20 champion, finished some way back in the men's event with the 2kg implement on 54.28m.
Former class two ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships (Champs) winner Daniel Cope of Petersfield won the class one event, contested with the 1.75kg discus, with a throw measured at 54.35m.
Pinnock, a student athlete at Kingston College (KC), generated excitement in the long jump. Winner of the class one event at Champs, Pinnock leaped 7.78m with an abbreviated run-up. Jeremy Delisser, coach of the jumps at KC and Edwin Allen High, is optimistic that Pinnock will do well this season. Asked about the lad's background training, Delisser said, "So far, everything has been pretty good, everything more or less on target, so I'm satisfied up until now."
Last year, Pinnock flew out to 7.99m and started a watch on Leon Gordon's 1993 Champs record of 7.87m. The coach coolly looked ahead. "I'm hoping he'll just keep healthy," he said, "and we'll keep going from strength to strength."
Notable winning long jumps also came from Michelle Wilson of The Queen's School in class one and Samantha Jibbison of Holmwood Technical. Edwards leaped to victory by covering 5.64m. In class two, the compact Jibbison twice went further than that, with marks of 5.70m and 5.74m.