Erica Belvit breaks Jamaica’s national weight-throw record, sets sights on Paris Olympics

By February 11, 2024
Belvit and her coach after setting a new Jamaican national weight-throw record on Saturday. Belvit and her coach after setting a new Jamaican national weight-throw record on Saturday. Wilfredo de Jesus Elias Instagram

In a moment of pure exhilaration, Jamaica's female hammer thrower, Erica Belvit, shattered Jamaica's national weight throw indoor record during the URI Coaches Invitational at Rhode Island on Saturday. The impressive throw of 23.08m not only secured her place in the record books but also marked a significant milestone in her quest for a spot at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The mark, if ratified, will eclipse the record of 22.95m set by Kim Barnett in March 2004. Erica was a class above her competition that included her younger sister Hope, a senior at Northeastern, who was a distant second with her best throw of 17.92m.

Megan Wood, a junior of Rhode Island was third with 17.02m.

Erica, overwhelmed with emotion, shared her immediate reaction to the record-breaking moment, saying, "I was jumping and screaming! I didn’t expect it; I just knew something was going to happen for sure! I have so much in the tank ready to go."

The achievement comes after meticulous preparation, with Belvit and her coach, Wilfredo de Jesus Elias, dedicating their focus exclusively to the hammer throw and outdoor events in the lead-up to the 2024 track and field season. The URI Coaches Invitational served as a platform to fine-tune her competition mindset after a hiatus from competing.

Reflecting on her preparation for the season, Belvit mentioned, “This meet was just to ‘shake some dust off’ and practice getting into that competition mindset since I haven’t competed since July."

The disappointment of being overlooked for Jamaica's team at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in 2023 fueled Belvit's determination to make her mark in Paris this summer. Addressing the setback, she expressed, "Yes, it changed my whole view of training and competing. I was heartbroken for some time. Now we move forward."

Despite a challenging off-season marked by illness, Belvit's mental fortitude and patience played a pivotal role in her development. She shared insights into her off-season journey, stating, "My off-season started pretty rocky. I had gotten sick, which delayed my start for several weeks. When I was able to start training again, we focused on recovery and gradually increasing my training. I grew so much mentally during that time because I had to be patient with my body."

Looking ahead, Belvit has set ambitious yet straightforward targets for the season. Her focus is on giving her all each day, without regrets or holding back, believing that this approach will propel her toward success.

The 23-metre throw represents a significant step forward for Belvit and her coach. She sees it as evidence that their hard work is paying off and that they are heading in the right direction. As she shifts her attention to outdoor competitions, Belvit is eager to continue her journey, armed with newfound confidence and the belief that she has more to offer in pursuit of Olympic glory in Paris.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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