Javelin thrower Thomas eyes national mark at CAC
Jamaicans are quickly staking their claims in track and field's throwing disciplines with the likes of O'Dayne Richards, Fedrick Dacres and Daniel Thomas Dodd, all winning medals at major championships in the past three seasons.
And javelin thrower Orlando Thomas wants to further spread that growth as he is looking to become dominant in his event.
"Fedrick Dacres and O'Dayne Richards kind of opened doors for other young throwers coming up. I think we are on the right path now and I just want to add to that," Thomas said.
"In my event, we are slowly getting there. We have moved from the 50 metres to 60 metres and we are now in the 70 meters range so we are getting better. And I know I have that 80m throw in me, so we are getting there."
The former Kingston College athlete has a personal best of 72.88 metres, which he achieved at the National Senior Championships back in 2016.
But shortly after that he sustained an injury to his elbow and is just making his way back. During his time off, he watched Orrin Powell erase his national record with a new mark of 75.01m and Thomas is eager to get it back and wants to do so at these Central American and Caribbean Games here in Barranquilla.
"My main aim here is to regain my national record and to be placed in the top three," Thomas said. "I think the fact that a few athletes are doing well in the event will help it to grow because of the competition."
Thomas wants to represent the country in the event next year at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, but he is well aware that he will have to improve significantly between now and then to meet the 83m qualifying mark.
"I want to go to the World Championships next year so I am also using this meet to see how much I can improve to get to the qualification mark," the 23-year-old said.