Bean: it’s now or never for Smith
DeVon Bean hopes he can be a “lucky charm” for Bermuda long jumper Tyrone Smith at the Olympic Games.
Bean has been identified as a long-term successor to Troy Douglas, the Bermuda head coach, and is serving as a sounding board for Smith and sprinter Tre Houston in Rio.
It is the first time Bean has performed the head coaching duties at an Olympics, although he did fulfil the role at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, where Smith won gold with a national-record leap of 8.22 metres.
Bean believes Smith stands a great chance of winning a medal should he shatter his personal-best.
“I was there in Mayagüez when Tyrone won gold and hopefully I can be a good omen for him,” Bean said. “He stands an excellent chance if he nails it. It's going to be tough but there's nobody jumping really far like Carl Lewis, Mike Powell or those guys.
“On any given day, anybody in that pool of long jumpers could medal. He's going to have to jump a big personal best in order to medal. I think he's capable of jumping 8.30s or 8.40s.”
A former long jumper with a personal best of 7.88 in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 2000, Bean has an eager eye for detail and hopes his knowledge can help Smith in his medal quest.
“I'll be looking at his landing, hitting his mark and seeing if he's accelerating at the right point or dropping his leg,” Bean said. “There are certain clues that you have to look for.”
Bean describes Smith as an athlete who enjoys the grand stage and believes all the stars could align for him to deliver something special.
“His personality is one of a big-time performer,” Bean said. “He's just missing that key element to leave him standing on the podium on the day.
“There's always that one guy who has been knocking on the door for years and comes out and shines at the Olympics.
“Let's hope it's Tyrone as this is the ideal time for him to really have a good competition.”
Douglas also admires Smith's confidence and also believes a podium finish is a realistic goal.
“He's just got to show up on the day,” said Douglas, who has not travelled to Rio.
“Everybody seems to be around the same area in his event and the finals shouldn't be a problem for him.
“On the day of the finals Tyrone has to show up and jump a national record.
“If he jumps more than 8.22 he will be on the podium. That's all he has to do.”
Douglas is encouraged that Smith appears to be peaking at the right time ahead of today's qualifying round at the Olympic Stadium.
“The Tyrone that showed up at the Diamond League [in Birmingham when he finished fourth with 8.18 in June] has to show up at the Olympics,” he said.
“It's now or never for him, he's 32, and he's very confident in himself.”