Vital learning experience for Tiara DeRosa after 11th in Commonwealth discus final
Tiara DeRosa conceded she felt like a “little fish in a big pond” after encountering a valuable learning experience in the discus final at the Commonwealth Games this evening.
Heading into her debut at the Games, the 24-year-old spoke of her determination to better her personal best of 48.89 metres and finally surpass the 50 metres mark.
However, it was not to be. Having fouled her first attempt, De Rosa went on throw 42.86, before setting a best distance of 45.79 in her third and final attempt.
Her efforts were not enough to see her progress through to the final three throws as one of the eight top competitors, as she settled for an eleventh-place finish overall
Nigeria’s Chioma Onyekwere claimed gold with an impressive throw of 61.70, ahead of Jade Lally, of England, who set a best distance of 58.42 and compatriot Obiageri Amaechi, who completed the podium places with 56.99.
While not entirely satisfied with her performance, the Bermudian athlete looked to the positives of a invaluable experience, having admitted to initially allowing the atmosphere and occasion inside a capacity-crowd Alexander Stadium get to her nerves.
“I completely understand that I wasn’t pleased with what I threw but this whole experience is all positives for me,” said DeRosa, who could be seen going over to her coach, Terry Lynn Paynter, for some inspiration after her initial fouled attempt.
“I was going over to my coach. She knows how to get inside my head and calm me down. We just click.
“What I learnt is that I need to control my nerves more. The first throw was definitely all nerves and then from there I finally calmed down. Once I managed to calm down, I was able to focus more; it’s all a learning curve.
“I’ve got to go back to some foundations and basics when I get home, but overall I feel pretty good about myself competing at such a high level.
“This is my first big meet that I’ve competed in, so it was definitely an eye-opener.
“I felt like a little fish in a very big pond, but it’s about going away, developing and making myself stronger.”
As well a learning valuable lessons, the experience has also made DeRosa more determined than ever to improve as she strives to make her presence felt among an elite field of competitors.
“Everything here is a learning experience,” she added. “I look around, analyse and see what I can take from other people and incorporate within my own performance.
“Going forward it has definitely made me more hungry. If I want to be around the big dogs, I have to be a big dog myself.
“I’ve been throwing between 45 and 47 metres all season, so it is not like I came out here and did completely terrible. I threw within my range for this season, so I’m happy with that.
“I’m appreciative that the [Bermuda Olympic Association] took a chance on me to send me out here, and grateful for the opportunity because this experience is only going to make me better.”
She will not have long to wait to get back to action, with her sights already set on making a big impression at the NACAC Championships in Bahamas, scheduled to start on August 19.
“My next focus is on the NACAC Championships in Bahamas this month,” she added. “My coach has already told me that she has a whole plan for me — a boot camp — so that’s the immediate plan moving forward.”