Watch the field events this weekend – Forbes
Damar Forbes, the 2013 and 2017 World long jump finalist, says the field events will be worth watching at the National Senior Championships this weekend. According to him, the field events are on the rise in Jamaica and deserve their fair share of attention.
Speaking in Kingston on June 8, hours after news broke of a win for Shardia Lawrence in the triple jump at the NCAA Championships, he said: "The field events, as a whole, in Jamaica have taken a turn for the better and I feel like a lot more people need to notice that."
Alluding to higher medal hauls for Jamaica at major championships, Forbes calculated that: "If you want to actually see Jamaica prosper, you can look at the field and see the kind of things that we've been doing for a while like Tajay (Gayle) been winning Diamond Leagues, for a long time he's been making the finals for a few different championships and then you have Dacres and all the female throwers and you know what I'm saying the field is actually exploding."
Gayle was fourth in the Commonwealth Games final last year on the Gold Coast of Australia and won the silver medal at the NACAC Championships in Toronto. Earlier this year, he won at the Diamond League meet in Shanghai and leapt past Forbes into third on the Jamaican all-time long jump performance list with a personal best 8.30 metres.
ATHLETE ON THE MOVE
Gayle isn't the only Jamaican field event athlete on the move. Commonwealth shot champion Danniel Thomas-Dodd and 2017 NCAA discus winner Shadae Lawrence have both set national records - 19.48 and 65.05 metres, respectively. On the men's side, Fedrick Dacres has reached 70.78 metres national record, in the discus with ace shot putter O'Dayne Richards steadily regained the form and fitness that earned a World bronze in 2015.
Rising star Tissanna Hickling beat the World Championships women's long jump qualifying standard a few weeks ago at the National Stadium with a fine effort of 6.82 metres.
With all that in mind, Forbes said "it's not all about the track."
In a final word of advice to those will attend Trials, starting next Thursday, the 2012 and 2016 Olympian recommended, "I feel like more eyes should be on that as well because Trials long jump, Trials discus, Trials shot is going to be crazy."