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Roller-coaster season for Dacres points to Eugene

Published:Tuesday | July 12, 2022 | 12:09 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Coach Julian Robinson
Coach Julian Robinson
Fedrick Dacres competes in the discus throw qualifiers at the 2019 World Championships.
Fedrick Dacres competes in the discus throw qualifiers at the 2019 World Championships.

When Fedrick Dacres threw 65.98 metres on April 22, no one knew his next competition would be this week’s World Championships in Eugene, Oregon. A groin injury changed the outlook for Dacres and his coach Julian Robinson but on the last day before the home-based Jamaicans left for Eugene, a guarded optimism surrounded the 2019 World Athletics Championship runner-up.

After a July 7 rain shower left the discus circle at the UWI/Usain Bolt facility damp, Dacres, the Commonwealth and Pan-American Games champion, cheerfully walked out with his broom to remove the moisture. Then he set to work, pumping out 16 throws alongside training partner Traves Smikle. As they launched disc after disc, Robinson chipped with technical advice.

The injury hurt Robinson as much as Dacres.

“Fedrick’s last competitive throw, he threw 65.98m. The qualifying mark is 66m and we’re working on his technique and he was making steady progress,” the coach informed. Then trouble struck.

“The groin injury derailed the season temporarily but now he is in good shape. He never stopped throwing. We just backed off the full throw so he didn’t lose much. His timing was off but we have been working on it over the last week and some days, and he’s looking good,” he reported before Dacres began his workout. “He’s looking powerful and our preparation isn’t going to be what I would want it to be because ideally I would like to achieve super compensation but what we’re going to do is train up until the day of competition because we don’t have the luxury of unloading, so we just have to train and see what happens,” he said hopefully.


Dacres will seek to qualify for his third World Championships final in a row. Seventh in 2015 and fourth in 2017, he rose to second in 2019 behind super Swede Daniel Stahl.

The discus team to Eugene is national champion Smikle, Dacres and Olympic finalist Chad Wright.

Luxuriating in a season where, for the first time ever, Jamaica has four men – Smikle, Dacres, 2021 World Under 20 silver medal winner Ralford Mullings and Roje Stona – beyond 65 metres, Robinson made an appeal for support.

“The future looks good but as I said already in the past, what is critical, what would be crucial is financial support. The fact of the matter is the throwers don’t get as much financial support as the sprinters and for example, you have Chad Wright, he needs support. Roje Stona, in a year or two, will be out of university, he needs support. Mullings has three more years to go so that looks good. World Under-20 champion in 2018, Kai Chang, in another year or two, he will need support and if Jamaica can somehow find a way to support these throwers, our track and field future will be very bright,” Robinson said.