Track & Field

Smith aims to peak on Gold Coast

  • Tyrone Smith finished third in the Canadian Indoor Championships (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Tyrone Smith overcame a major stumbling block on the way to his second podium display of the year at the Canadian Indoor Championships in Montreal over the weekend.

The long jumper won bronze with a leap of 7.68 metres on his third attempt despite having to compete in unsuitable conditions at the Claude-Robillard Sport Facility.

“There was just something kind of off about the track that was not as long as we need it to be,” Smith told The Royal Gazette.

“For example, my approach needs to be about 148 feet and their runway with the track material was about 146½ feet.

“I was starting on non-track material and kind of had a slippery start.”

Jarvis Gotch, of the United States, claimed gold with a winning leap of 7.82 and Damar Forbes, of Jamaica, the silver with a leap of 7.75.

“It [the track] was not conducive to big jumps,” Smith added. “The three of us that finished on the podium, all of our personal bests are over 8.30 and none of us broke eight metres. That gives you an idea of what the facility was like.

“But I am happy I was able to compete and stay in the mix. We were all like within 10 to 15 centimetres of each other, so without it being perfectly ideal conditions I will definitely take the positive. I have the jumps on film and don’t see anything that was massively wrong, so I know that with the right set-up this would be a much farther jump.

“I also didn’t foul a single jump so that really bodes well for me to be this early in the season and not to have any problems with the board — that is the number one thing.

“When you know you can just run at that board and not have to worry about fouling because of your approach is something I haven’t had in a little bit. I’m really excited I didn’t have any fouls.”

Smith’s podium display followed on the heels of his triumph at the Houston Invitational last month, which he won despite suffering cramp in his leg.

“I definitely could have gone eight metres that day but my body wasn’t ready,” Smith said. “During the warm-up my calf muscles started to cramp up, so I only got in one attempt but still won.”

The 33-year-old has returned to Houston, Texas, where he lives, to fine tune preparations for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham next month and Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia, in April.

“My preparations have gone really well, speed-wise on the track and in the weight room getting stronger, and so I’m definitely feeling very fast and technically sound,” Smith said.

“We aim to peak for the World Indoor Championships and hold it through for the Commonwealth Games and then take it back a little bit for the rest of the summer because we also have the CAC Games [in Barranquilla, Colombia in July and August] and NACAC Championships [in Toronto in August].”