Fedrick Dacres has put Jamaican discus throwing on the map. The 2018 IAAF Diamond League winner and Continental Cup champion explains where his love for the event comes from.
“What I like about the discus? I like the entire concept of throwing the discus. You can’t be too aggressive – if you’re too aggressive, you’re not going to get a good throw. If you’re too relaxed, you’re not going to get a good throw either. You have to be in between. You have to be mellow, everything has to add up to the main thing. That’s why I like it – because there’s so much that goes into it.
“What attracted me to the event was actually that my brother used to throw discus and he was pretty good. He made national teams and all that. I remember one time, before I even had any thought of becoming a discus thrower, I picked up a black rubber disc and I threw it and I threw it well – I threw it better than anyone else – but this was when I was really young. It just so happened – as fate would have it – I ended up doing this as a profession.
“What I can say about the perfect throw is that if everything connects, you’ll be sure to get a good throw. For me, it’s all about being smooth. The smoother you are, the better your throw. The actual technique really depends.
“My coach is a perfectionist I must say, so he has taught us the basics of throwing from the stand throw, to the 180s (degree) and the half-turns and so forth. He has taught us every version of a throw and he has put it together to give a full throw. It’s a breakdown. If you understand every part and you put each part together, you’ll probably get a good throw.
“I really like it because it’s my thing. I just really like throwing the discus. I love other things, but it’s just easy for me. It’s not forced or anything like that. It’s the thing that I can just do. I love lifting, I love being strong, so it was not an issue for me to get strong. I love to figure stuff out and even though the coach often tells you, the athlete, what to do, you have got to put it together. That’s really why I love this.
“I had quite a few other throwers I looked up to when I was younger. On my team I had Chad Wright. He became national champion. I used to love the shot put also, and I had quite a few guys that showed me what could be done and when I got to that point I had to search myself for what else is there and I think I did that. The younger athletes who are to come can see that more can be done, that we can do more than just sprint.
Of course I have always thought we could have done so much more and we can do so much more across different events as a nation, but I don’t take it as a responsibility to prove that. I just try to be the best me, the best person I can be, and if I inspire someone then that’s great, but one day someone might come around and replace me. I think we can do more and I think I have done a pretty good job thus far, but at this point I’m just trying to be me, I am not trying to change anything, I just want to give the best for myself and my country as I can.”
Michelle Sammet for the IAAF