Smith eighth in long jump final
Success, disappointment or indifferent, Tyrone Smith's fun-loving demeanour rarely seems to change.
Even when the dice does not roll in his favour, which it failed to do in tonight's long jump final at the Commonwealth Games, Smith can still be founding a wearing his trademark permanent smile.
Smith admitted that he was disappointed with his eighth-place finish with a best jump of 7.79 metres, but insisted that he had enjoyed every moment of performing in front of a packed Hampden Park stadium.
“We kill ourselves all year round on the track and if you don't have fun at competitions like this, then you probably don't have a pulse,” said Smith, who turns 30 next week.
“There has to be a point that makes all the training worth it, and being able to jump in front of 40,000 people has to be that moment.
“I had a great time, even though I had hoped things would have gone a bit better for me. But it's not the end of the world.”
Never one to miss an opportunity to play up to the crowd, Smith, whose impromptu jig in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 caused storm on Twitter, treated the spectators to an impressive display of shadow boxing during his camera close-up before the start of the final.
However, the proverbial knockout blow eluded him when it mattered most.
Having scraped into the second round with a leap of 7.71, which was arguably his best considering he was jumping into a 1.3mph headwind — the greatest that any of the 12 finalists faced for a legal jump — Smith continued to struggle to find his rhythm.
“I definitely wanted to jump farther but I was having some difficulties with my take-off and not getting the elevation that I would have liked,” Smith, who fouled on two of his six attempts, said.
“The long jump at the Commonwealth Games is always really strong and I knew this was never going to be a cakewalk. It was always going to take a jump of at least 8.20 to win.”
Smith said that he would not be rushing into a decision on whether to return to action in November to defend the gold medal that he won at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico, four years ago.
“I'm thinking of taking a little rest,” Smith said. “The CAC Games are quite late in the year and then there's the World Championships next year, so I will be having some conversations with my coach and physio to see where my old body is at.”
Greg Rutherford, the Olympic champion, added to his medal collection by winning England's first athletics gold at the Games with a jump of 8.20.