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Commonwealth Games: Richards Carries Medal Hopes In Shot Put

Commonwealth Games: Richards Carries Medal Hopes In Shot Put

Posted by Shanelle Weir on July 25, 2014

He's been showing signs that he was a top quality shot put athlete in the making for several years but Jamaican O'Dayne Richards really took that promise to another level this season.

Richards, who studies at the University of Technology took silver at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in 2010, before winning gold at the CAC Championships and the World University Games a year later.

He also won gold at the 2013 CAC Championships and competed at the World Championships that as well as the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March.

However, after throwing over 20m in 2012 and 2013, it's this year's 21.11m registered at the Jamaica International Invitational in May, that really established him as Jamaica's top competitor and a possible Glasgow 2014 medal contender in the shot put.

Diamond League debut

Richards, who made his Diamond League debut earlier this season at the Shanghai meet, says he is has entered these games with more confidence given his improvements, hinting that there is still a lot more to come, perhaps here in Glasgow.

The 25-year-old, who has the three best marks by a Jamaican, is also the second-best thrower in the Commonwealth coming into the championships.

"It's a new level of competition, I am very excited and I hope to perform well here," he told The Gleaner after a recent training session.

"My preparations this year have been very good, I've been healthy; no major injuries and I have gone over 21m which is considered a reputable mark, so its been a really good year, and I think there is more in the bag," Richards noted.

"Competing in the Diamond League was a good experience, its not like the usual track meets, they have a lot going on. It was a baptism of fire so to speak because a lot of the greats were there, Ryan Whiting, Christian Cantwell and Joe Kovacs who is the new world leader who has gone over 22m and that was a great experience for me," Richards said.

"They definitely share a lot. Although we compete against each other fiercely, we speak a lot. Even in between competition throws, they will have a word of encouragement and we will have a few laughs and so, but once we get into that ring, it's all business and we try and beat up on each other," said Richards.

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