Stona targets World Champs final
After being the sole Jamaican in the men's discus final at the Commonwealth Games last year, Roje Stona is on a journey to make the upcoming World Championships final.
"I wanted to obtain the qualification mark for the World Championships this season and obviously try to make the team by making the top three and even winning the Championships to solidify my spot. Making the final will be a big deal," he said.
Stona, who has thrown 68.64 metres this year, has already met the World Championships qualifying mark of 67 metres, and he has high hopes of doing well if he makes the Jamaican team.
"Based on how my season has been going, if it's God's will and I'm fully healthy, between (National) Trials and the World Championships, I think I will be in top shape to compete. I think my lowest mark this season is 65 metres, so if I can at least throw that, then that would put me into the final. If I make it to the final, I would compete, I pretty much have nothing to lose at this point in my career. There's more to gain than lose," he said.
Stona, who finished sixth in the Commonwealth Games, said making an international final has helped his career.
"It meant a lot because it gave me some sort of confidence and experience even though I did not compete at my best," Stona said.
He insists he has unfinished business at the Commonwealth Games.
"As long as I'm competing in that calendar year, then for sure I would be competing for a medal," he said.
Nevertheless, he is grateful for the lessons he learned from the experience.
"I learnt to be patient and stick to the plan, not rushing anything or overdo the early season, just try to improve longevity so I can perform much greater later down in the summer," he said.
He said he is pleased with his season so far as he copped the NCAA silver medal in the discus with a throw of 65.55 metres.
Stona is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Operations Management at the University of Arkansas while he looks to improve on his achievements in track and field.