June 23, 2019 / 4:06 AM / a month ago

Athletics: Gayle wins long jump at Jamaican trials

KINGSTON (Reuters) - Tajay Gayle leapt 8.24 metres to win the men’s long jump at the Jamaican trials on Saturday.

Gayle, who is aiming to end Jamaica’s 16-year wait for a long jump medal at the world championships, told Reuters: “It’s a great feeling that I’ll finally get to represent my country at the world championship.

“In Doha, I’ll definitely try my best to secure a medal and join James Beckford, who won silver medals in 2003 and 1995,” added Gayle, who had four jumps over 8m on the night.

“I’m just trying to stay healthy, keep fit and see what happens in the next few months with the guidance of coach Stephen Francis.

In the men’s discus, Traves Smikle threw 66.33m to defeat Commonwealth Games champion and training partner Fedrick Dacres (63.49m).

“I’m not particularly happy with the performance, but having the national title is good ... the last time I won it was 2012, so to win it in 2019 is a good feeling... Its just another step to what really matters, which is the world championships,” Smikle told Reuters.

Dacres, who recently threw a world leading 70.78m in Morocco, was pleased to have secured his berth at Doha and is now targeting consistency.

“I’ve made the team, so now it is about preparing for the championships. It’s about trying to be at a level where I’m always in the hunt for a podium finish,” Dacres told Reuters.

Danniel Thomas-Dodd won the women’s shot put in 18.52m to secure her spot at the Sept. 28 to Oct. 6 world championships in Qatar.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Natoya Goule returned a season best one minute, 59.50 seconds to win her seventh national 800m crown.

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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