Jamaica’s shot put thrower, Danniel Thomas, is disappointed with her performance at the Olympic Games, after finishing 25th in the qualifying throws in Rio de Janeiro, with a distance of 16.99 metres on Friday (12 Aug).
She also dismissed any suggestion that the downpour during her throws, affected her.
In her first ever Olympics, Thomas, however, is hoping that her qualification to the Games will be the inspiring catalyst, for Jamaica to establish itself in the throws at the world level.
Thomas said, “I am obviously not happy with the performance today because I know my potential and I know what I am capable of, especially knowing what I was doing in practice earlier this week. So I am very disappointed that I wasn’t able to execute the same attitude and to get the distance that I have been producing in practice.
“As an athlete you learn to adjust to whatever (condition). There is nothing you can do about it. It is natural, so therefore you have to learn to make the necessary adjustment. The rain started falling, but I wouldn’t say it had anything to do with the performance,” she said.
According to Thomas, she was throwing well over the qualifying mark of 18.40 metres in anticipation of 18.50.
“So that’s what I have been aiming for in practice (18.50 metres) and been successful. Just coming out today and not even able to get it over 17 metres is really hurtful. Let’s just put it this way, it is taking a lot out of me not to cry,” she said.
Thomas said she was just happy to be at the Olympic Games, as she had to struggle through an injury and the fear of not making the standard to be there.
She said, “I would say the experience is really good, because I didn’t think that I was going to make it, because early season I had a really bad injury that pushed me back two months. So therefore when I learnt that the standard was adjusted and then to learn that because of what I produced last year at PanAm, qualified me for the Olympics.
“So not expecting to make it and then being able to be here competing, I think that the experience is really good for me. It is definitely a confidence booster so I would say it is a good experience for me so far,” she said.
And what the qualification to the Olympic Games mean for throwers in Jamaica?
“I would say because last year, I was the only female to qualify for the World Championships and this year we have five females, not only in one of the discipline, but the discus, the shot put and the hammer throw as well, which is not a traditional event for Jamaica, that with what the youngsters are seeing now, I think it is going to give them that drive.
“Because if you look at it for the sprint side for Jamaica, when Asafa started he was essentially the only one and then you have Usain Bolt and then you have more people now wanting to do the event. And I think what they have seen us (throwers) done on the women’s side and the men’s side, I think we are going to be like the Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt for throwers,” she concluded.