Field events in the spotlight at Doha 2019

October 07, 2019
Tajay Gayle
Tajay Gayle
Fedrick Dacres
Fedrick Dacres
Danniel Thomas-Dodd
Danniel Thomas-Dodd
Shanieka Ricketts
Shanieka Ricketts

DOHA, Qatar:

Since sprinting legend Usain Bolt retired and with many of his contemporaries at the back-end of their careers, there have been concerns that Jamaica's track and field could be sinking into a dark phase again.

This, after the country won only four medals at the 2017 London World Championships to register its lowest medal tally at the meet since 1987.

But these 2019 Championships have proven otherwise as not only Jamaica has maintained a presence on the track, but has also ventured into uncharted territories in the field.

For the first time in the country's rich athletics history, Jamaica won the men's long jump at a world Championships or Olympic Games as Tajay Gayle leaped to 8.69 metres, the longest jump since 2009, to claim gold on day two of these championships.

The former Papine High student-athlete also broke the 22-year-old national record (8.62m) of his idol James Beckford.

Fedrick Dacres achieved another first for Jamaica when he sailed his disc to 66.94 metres to win silver in the men's discus final.

Dacres came into the meet with the second farthest throw,70.78m, this season. He was beaten by Sweden's Daniel Stahl with 67.59m. Stahl also has the world leading throw in the event at 71.86m.

"I think this medal shows that anything is possible when you don't limit your mind to what you see around you," Dacres said after the final last Monday. "When I was growing up there was no one doing this (winning a medal in discus throw) but it can but done if you have the right guidance."

Daniel Thomas-Dodd also shared similar sentiments after winning Jamaica's first medal in the women's shot put at a outdoor global athletics Championships.

"I remember I was at a track meet and this girl said to me that no one from Jamaica ever does well in the shot put so it's best if I just stop and I have kept that with me ever since," Thomas-Dodd recalled after throwing 19.47m to finish second behind China's Lijiao Gong who won with 19.55m.

Shanieka Ricketts claimed Jamaica's fourth medal in the field on Saturday night with a distance of 14.92m to win silver in the women's triple jump. Her performance is only bettered by one other Jamaican in history, Trecia Kaye Smith who won the event at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

This is the first time Jamaica has won more than one medal in the field at a World Championships and they ended this meet with four.

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