Mind and body: National discus record holder Dacres ready for challenge to come at JAAA Senior Champs

By July 04, 2023
Fedrick Dacres Fedrick Dacres

Fedrick Dacres is never one that lacks motivation or energy which are both emotional and mental responses some professional athletes display in times of difficulties. If you ask him, he would readily tell you that it's through his numerous battles with injuries that he discovered the fighter inside him is even greater.

The lengthy and difficult recovery process from those injury setbacks over the last few seasons, brought Dacres's stubborn determination to the fore and helped the national men’s discus throw record holder, gain new perspective on a sport he fell in love with from the junior level.

"I've had a few years where I had to deal with injuries before so at this point, it (being injured or feeling a niggle) is like clockwork, so I've never majored in the minor so to speak. As an athlete, if you pay attention to the days when you get up feeling a little pain you will feel discouraged," Dacres told SportsMax.tv.

"So, it is just about taking it a day at a time and just looking to the future. Right now, I can move, once I can move that means I can do the work and once I can do the work then the performance will come and I will get better, so it's just one step at a time," he added.

The 29-year-old's revelation came, as he shared that though a bit sore, he is currently in the best shape of his life with his mind firmly set on making Jamaica's team to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary scheduled for August 19-27.

To get there, Dacres, who achieved the national record of 70.78m in 2019, will first have to navigate the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) National Championships, where he is expecting fierce competition from a number of the country's rising prospects.

In fact, it is United States-based college senior Roje Stona that is currently the top-ranked Jamaican man with 68.64m, for sixth place on the World Championships ranking system, just ahead of Dacres, whose lone throw of the season, 68.57m, is seventh.

Traves Smikle is in ninth place with 68.14m, with the likes of Brandon Lloyd who threw 65.32m this year, Olympic finalist Chad Wright, Kai Chang, as well as Ralford Mullings, also showing great promise, which should make this event one of great entertainment value at the four-day Championships, scheduled to start on Thursday at the National Stadium.

Still, Dacres is no strangers to tough competition, having had success at both the Commonwealth Games and World Championships where he won gold and silver in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and he is no doubt aiming to put himself into medal contention in Budapest, next month.

"I think this will be the best National Championships in a while with good competition, so I can't complain. I'm feeling great, my preparation has been a bit slow based on a small groin injury, but it hasn't really stopped me. I just take it a step at a time, so just pacing myself and getting better for the trials and hopefully World Championships," he declared.

Throughout the conversation Dacres's body language and a wry smile every now and again, exuded immense confidence, which he said comes from the fact that he has recovered well and has also glimpsed a few of his national rivals in competition. 

"The confidence comes from preparation time because as I said, I am feeling good so I can't complain, I went and competed overseas and I also saw my competitors, so I guess that's why I am oozing confidence. So again, I feel good, I am doing what I am supposed to and, all in all, it’s just about keeping it up and executing on the day," he ended.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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