Saturday 24 August, 2019

Fedrick Dacres ends season with victory at IAAF Continental Cup

Jamaica's Fedrick Dacres competes in the men's discus at the 2018 IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Saturday. (PHOTO: IAAF).

Jamaica's Fedrick Dacres competes in the men's discus at the 2018 IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Saturday. (PHOTO: IAAF).

Fedrick Dacres of Team Americas ended his season in style  by sealing victory in the men's discus on Saturday's first day of the two-day IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic with a performance that combined precision timing, superb strength and peerless power.

The Jamaican started the event in shaky fashion with an opening throw of 58.38m, following up with a foul, but in the third round he sealed his semi-final place with a throw of 66.64m.

In the fourth round, the semi-final, he threw 63.86m to advance to the fifth and final round where the overall standings were decided by his final – and biggest – effort of the day, 67.97m.

The closest to that was Europe’s Andrius Gudzius, who threw 66.95m in the second round to advance to the semi-final ahead of teammate Daniel Stahl, who threw a best of 64.84m.

In the semi-final, Matthew Denny of Asia-Pacific threw 61.84m – well down on the 63.99m he’d thrown in the opening round – but after Africa’s Victor Hogan and Gudzius fouled out, that proved enough to see him advance to the final to take on Dacres in a head-to-head match.

Denny was up first, and when his final throw dropped down at just 54.53m, Dacres knew victory would be his with a safe throw. He went for it nonetheless, heaving the discus 67.97m to seal a memorable win.

“It was an incredibly interesting competition,” said Dacres. “I like these new rules, especially when I won and it was helpful for my team. Those rules are keeping you focused on what is going to go on from the very beginning to the last attempt.

“I thought Europeans would be my rivals here and I didn’t expect on my last attempt to be competing with Matthew.”

Europe claimed the maximum eight points in the team event courtesy of Gudzius and Stahl, who finished third and fifth overall.

Back in eighth place, there was an unexpected performer in the shape of Joseph Millar, who stepped up to compete for Asia-Pacific as they were without a second competitor in Ostrava. Best known as a sprinter, Millar had already competed in the 200m but he earned some points for the team and $1000 of individual prize money for himself in the discus via his best throw of 27.15m, a PB.

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