Smith still upset about missing medal
Tyrone Smith still feels “a little robbed” of a Pan American Games medal after finishing fourth in the men’s long jump final in Toronto four years ago.
Smith leapt eight metres or more four times, but was beaten to the podium by Emiliano Lasa, of Uruguay, who posted only one legal jump out of six.
Although Lasa’s best effort was ten centimetres farther than Smith’s, the Bermudian admits feeling a slight sense of injustice about missing out on bronze.
“Lasa’s five foul jumps and one fair jump outjumped my five fair jumps and one foul jump to pip me to the podium,” Smith said. “I’m still a little salty about that! I’m here to do some business and I’d like to get that Pan Am medal. It would be the highest quality medal I would have won in my career.
“I feel a little robbed that I didn’t get it in 2015. I’m out for some justice.”
Smith turns 35 tomorrow when the final will be held and hopes to make it a birthday to remember by realising his long-held ambition of winning a medal at a major competition.
His career highlight remains claiming gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, in 2010, a feat he almost repeated at the CAC Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, last summer when he placed second.
“If I execute what I do every day in practice, then I know I’m going to be competitive,” said the three-times Olympian.
“If I’m able to produce that little bit extra, I know I will be on the podium.
“I didn’t have a great year [in 2018], but I was able to pull out a jump [8.03] at the CAC Games and got myself a medal.
“It wasn’t a personal best or anything, but it was my season best; I managed to produce at the right time.”
Smith, who holds the national record of 8.34, knows he will have to replicate that kind of distance to stand a chance of capturing a medal.
“No one who is competing has jumped 8.60 or anything this year, so it’s going to be a case of who is ready to go 8.20 or 8.30,” he added.
“I feel like I’m ready to go. I’m going in knowing I’m in great shape and have had some great sessions leading up to it. It’s a matter of executing.”
Smith will make a whistle-stop trip to Lima, arriving tomorrow, the day before competing, and leave the day after on Friday, so not to miss too many sessions of his MBA, which he starts today at the University of Texas in Austin.
“It’s going to be an interesting schedule,” said Smith, who has quit his job as a part-time car salesman in Houston.
“I’m missing some mandatory sessions to compete [in Lima], but we’re going to make it work. I’m living in a sea of boxes right now!
“I think I’ll be fine. It’s not a super amount of travel. I’ve known this was how it was going to be for a month or two. I’ve had plenty of time to prep my brain to be ready to go for when I land.
“It’s been quite nice not having to go to work. I can train at whatever time I want during the day.
“I’ve been taking the bus back to Houston to have some sessions with my coach [Wesley Bray] before I leave for Lima.”
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