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Smith gunning for podium place

Bermuda long jumper Tyrone Smith insists he’s more than capable of winning a medal at this month’s World Championships if he can discover his best form.

Smith, Bermuda’s only athlete competing at the Championships, will be up against some of the world’s best jumpers in Daegu, South Korea.

Accompanying him to East Asia will be his personal coach Bryan Schiding, who has advised Smith to rest his body in recent weeks so he will be fully rejuvenated for what lies ahead.

And Smith believes a podium spot could be well within his grasp if he can record a jump of more than 8.25 metres.

“Right now I’m focusing on letting my body heal up a bit. I’d been competing so much I needed to give it a chance to recover and get ready for the Worlds in just a few weeks’ time,” said Smith. “I started training last week and the physiotherapists and trainers are advising I take a few more days off so I can be at my best, so right now I’m focused on recovery and doing some light training.

“The immediate goal is trying to get into the top five; my coaching staff have put that in front of me and I think a jump of 8.25m will be able to get me in that bracket.

“This jump is a real possibility, my coaches believe I have potential to go 8.3 or better this year and my personal goal is 8.45. It’s a bit lofty but I’ve proved to myself and others that I can achieve big things so this won’t be anything new to me.”

Smith heads to the Worlds in fine form, claiming gold at the CAC Senior Championships in Puerto Rico while also becoming the first Bermudian to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics when he jumped 8.16m at Rice University, in the US.

Admitting that form will be the key factor, Smith is confident in his ability to challenge for top honours.

“It’s important to be in good form because it’s a rhythm event and you have hit each stride with perfection in order to get the optimum out of your jump,” he said. “I’ve ben doing fairly well in the past few months so I’m hoping to continue this and get on the podium.”

Bermuda Track and Field Association (BTFA) president Donna Watson is hoping Smith can continue his encouraging form at the Championships.

“We are hoping for a good performance from Tyrone as he has had a good season leading up to Worlds, so hopefully he will peak there,” said Watson.

The Championships will be held from August 27 to September 4.

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Published August 16, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated August 16, 2011 at 9:34 am)

Smith gunning for podium place

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