Dacres, Clayton eager for 2020 season
Discus thrower Fedrick Dacres and 400 metre hurdler Rushell Clayton are looking expectantly to 2020 and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Both will be seeking to build on their medal winning success at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Dacres is fitter than in the last few seasons while Clayton is focused on improving her technique.
With a 2018 knee operation fading further into the past, Dacres is grateful to be a hundred per cent fit. "I feel really good because there's no setback for me now so it's more like just seeing where I left off so I'm feeling really excited about this season,"he said.
Asked if his Doha silver had boosted his confidence, the 2016 Olympian responded, "Of course, of course, of course. I knew I could do it. It was more about if I could get it right on the day." Twice a World Championships finalist prior to this year, Dacres missed the podium in 2015 and 2017 before placing second to super Swede Daniel Stahl this time around.
The Julian Robinson-coached athlete revealed his focus on Tokyo when he added: "You know, the medal is good but I'm still hunting and I'm still hungry for it."
Dacres feels the discus could become a big event for Jamaica with Pan-Am Games runner-up Traves Smikle, World team member Chad Wright, youngsters Roje Stona and Kevin Nedrick in the mix. He also has high hopes for 2018 World Under 20 champion Kai Chang who is now a student-athlete at UWI. "He's improving and he should be good for the future," Dacres said.
Clayton, who produced a personal best 53.74 seconds for the bronze in Doha, said: " "I'm very, very, very excited. I'm looking forward to just going out there on the track and competing because having gotten a medal, it just boosts my confidence to want to do so much more because I know I can do so much more."
The Okeile Stewart coached hurdler added: "And look at it, the bar has crept up a little bit more, so I've just got to get up there too."
Perhaps mindful that the gold and silver medal winners were well ahead in Doha, she outlined a key goal of her 2020 training programme. "A lot more technical work because to be faster you have to be technically sound, so it has to do with technique, lots and lots of technique," she said.