Smith not fazed by torn hamstring
Tyrone Smith does not expect the torn hamstring he sustained at his final meet of the season to affect his build-up for next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Bermuda long jumper suffered the blow in his final warm-up jump at this month's Great North City Games in Newcastle and will be out of action for up to six weeks.
Rather than dwell on his misfortune, Smith believes the injury has occurred at the best possible time as he had planned to take a month's break to recuperate after a long season.
“I was on my very last warm-up jump when I heard a huge pop in my left hamstring,” Smith said.
“The physio came out to see if I could still compete because at these competitions if you don't jump you don't get your travel money or your appearance fee.
“I was still trying to see if I could pull it off, but there was no chance — the hamstring was torn.”
Smith, who was hoping to shatter the Bermuda record of 8.22 metres he set at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico in 2010, suspects the patchy showers and windy conditions in the North East of England might have contributed to his injury.
He has since returned home to Houston where is continuing his recovery and believes the injury will not delay his typical pre-season schedule by more than a few weeks.
“I've already had three or four treatment sessions to help the healing process and I guess it's a good thing that the injury happened when it did,” said the two-times Olympian.
“It's not devastating and I'm not overly upset about it. It was my last meet and I'd have loved to have chased the Bermuda record, but it wasn't to be.”
The Great North City Games has evolved into a hugely popular street athletics meet, where the events take place at a unique, purpose-built arena on Newcastle Gateshead Quayside.
With Smith unable to compete, the organisers handed him the microphone to commentate on the long jump event, which was won by Britain's Greg Rutherford with a leap of 8.01.
“[The Great North City Games] is a really cool concept and I was pretty upset that I couldn't compete,” Smith said.
“But they let me commentate and it was actually kind of cool as I got to interview the long jumpers and give the crowd a bit of insight into the sport.”
Although last season was arguably the most consistent of Smith's career, with the 31-year-old regularly breaking the eight-metres mark, he expressed his frustrations at failing to produce his best form at major competitions.
Smith jumped beyond eight metres four times at the Pan Am Games in Toronto in July, but was unable to land a podium finish, placing fourth with a best mark of 8.07.
His best form also eluded him at the World Championships in Beijing in August, posting a top leap of 7.79, missing out on the final to finish tenth overall.
“It was disappointing not to medal at Pan Am or the World Championships — those were the goals,” Smith said.
“To have such a consistent season but without the crown jewels was pretty tough to take.”