Smikle making no excuses as he returns from injury
NATIONAL representative in the discus, Traves Smikle is slowly working his way back to peak level, even as he nurses a long-term injury that has kept him out of competition for some time.
One of only three men in the event at the Jamaica Olympic Association/Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association Olympic Destiny Series on Saturday, Smikle came away with the win with a distance of 61.99m, enough to earn him the prize money of $100,000 for the premium event which had a minimum standard of 60m.
Smikle is still struggling with a groin injury but is learning to manage the situation as he competes with the Olympic Trials in mind.
“I am okay with the performance, considering the situation, and I threw 61.99m notwithstanding injuries. Some injuries will not go away so easily so, you have to find a way to manage it…and that’s what I am trying to do.”
He is hoping to build on the performance in the weeks ahead.
“To come out here and get a shake-out and throw 61.99m, I’m okay with it. I’m just going to build from here. Athletes need competition.”
Smikle is neither expecting nor asking for favours as he copes with his current situation.
You just have to get on with it. Everybody have issues and I am not special, in any case, with my issues. What I have to do is be smart about how I manage and improve my performance,” he said.
The left-handed thrower admits to feeling frustrated at times but with the Olympic dream still in his heart, he refuses to make any excuses as he remains laser-focused on his target.
“Yes, it’s a bit frustrating but at the end of the day, if I really want to go to the Olympics and medal and if I really want to get good marks I have to find a way – so no complaints and no excuses,” he stated.
While happy with the financial reward that comes with the win, Smikle revealed that he was unaware of the prizes on offer at the series until just a few days before the event.
“I didn’t even know there were incentives up until about a day or two ago and in evaluating what is happening, I think it’s a good move.”
The University of the West Indies student believes that the series will have a massive impact on local track and field.
“I think it’s really good; I think it will spur the athletes to improve in their performances. And for those who, for example, don’t have a sponsorship, now with the financial gains it’s a good opportunity for them to come out and try to hit the marks and make some money.”
Smikle is among an elite group of four or five throwers in contention to make the Jamaica team to the Olympic Games.