Medal a possibility for Smith, says Bean
DeVon Bean insists Tyrone Smith has “big jumps left in him” and can win a medal at the Commonwealth Games if he hits peak form.
The Bermuda director of athletics admits the window of opportunity is closing in on Smith but believes the 33-year-old long jumper still has time to medal at a major event.
“Tyrone still has big jumps left in him, but his window is closing because you can’t hide age,” Bean, who will act as Smith’s in the qualifiers on Tuesday.
“That’s not to say he can’t go on until he’s 35 like Kim Collins [the Saint Kitts and Nevis sprinter] but his number of big jumps is dwindling.
“It’s going to be tough for him, but if he performs anywhere near his personal best [8.34 metres] he stands a chance of walking away with a medal.”
Smith has only jumped over eight metres once at a major event, an 8.07 to finish fourth at the Toronto Pan Am Games in 2015.
He also leapt 8.22 at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in 2010 to win gold in his most memorable performance for Bermuda.
“It’s all there for Tyrone and I don’t know if it’s nerves or what,” said Bean, a former sprinter and long jumper.
“All the hard work is done in training and you’re in autopilot when you get to a competition. It’s a roll of the dice in some ways and you hope all of the stars align for you.”
Bean, 42, spotted some technical deficiencies in Smith’s eleventh-place finish at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, England, last month.
“He was splitting his landing, so one foot is behind at 7.80 and the other is out well over 8 metres, which would have put him in a position to challenge for a medal,” Bean said.
Bean is a firm believer in the value and relevance of the Commonwealth Games, a competition he never competed in because of injury, missing the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games and 2002 Manchester Games.
“The Commonwealth Games has got more respect over the years because of the performances that have been put out across the board,” said Bean, who competed in the 100 metres at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
“I’m sure Tyrone would prefer a medal at the World Championships or Olympics, but the Commonwealth Games is still a big deal.”
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