June 19, 2012
Dacres knows what it takes
Leighton Levy, STAR Writer
Federick Dacres, the 2011 World Youth Discus Champion, overcame a ragged series of throws at the National Junior Championships on the weekend to win his event with a throw of 61.55m. Dacres, who was also third in the shot put (18.24m), was happy for the win, but is well aware that if he is to win at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona set for July 10-15, he will have to be a lot better.
"I went out there to get a bigger personal record, however, I thought I could have done much better on the day as I was hoping to get 64 or 65 metres," Dacres said yesterday.
At the World Youth Champion-ships in Lille, France, last July, Dacres, using the 1.5kg implement, topped the field with a throw of 67.05 metres. He was so dominant each of his throws could have won him the title. Dacres produced an impressive series of 63.67m, 62.05m, 63.37m, and 64.52m before unleashing 67.05m on his final throw to finish ahead of the USA's Ethan Cochran, whose best throw was 61.37m and South Africa's GeHard de Beer's 60.16m.
Now throwing a heavier discus (1.75kg), Dacres was not nearly as dominant on home soil and produced the one throw over 60 metres to secure the win.
"I need to get stronger and I need to improve my technique to make it more reliable," he said. "That's what me and my coach are going to be working on."
The ever-improving young thrower admitted that he was a bit anxious at the start at competition on the weekend but eventually settled down to deliver at the very end.
Dacres' coach, Julian Robinson, who has moulded Jamaica's only global medal winners in the throws, while critical, was philosophical about his young charge's performance.
"I am happy for the 61.55m, but I didn't like his overall performance," he said. "I would have preferred that he get that 61-metre throw within his first three throws."
Robinson explained that at global championships, competitors need to deliver a big throw early if they are to safely advance to the final eight.
Dacres, he said, needs to be able to deliver back-to-back big throws. He did temper his criticism somewhat suggesting that Dacres was not properly focused going into competition this past weekend.
"The conditions did not allow for a proper warm-up," he said. "It was not a serious enough environment."
He said he didn't think Dacres was focused enough knowing that he had six throws to get it right whereas his focus needed to be where he was telling himself that he needed to get his big throws within the first three. That being said, Robinson believes Dacres should be able to compete for a medal in Barcelona.
"I would love for him to be stronger, but I feel he is capable of getting 63 metres, which could get him a medal," Robinson opined, explaining that this year, none of the top-five junior throwers had done anything to separate themselves from the rest of the field.
"Once his technique becomes more reliable, he is capable of a medal," Robinson said.
For his part, Dacres says he feels no pressure going into Barcelona.
"It would be nice to be World Youth Champion and World Junior Champion but I don't feel any pressure. I don't let pressure get to me. The only thing that I focus on is my technique and how to execute," he concluded.