Thu | Jul 7, 2022

Kobe Lawrence, coach hatching World Juniors plan

Published:Sunday | May 22, 2022 | 12:14 AMRobert Bailey - Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Kobe Lawrence.
Jamaica’s Kobe Lawrence.
Robinson
Robinson
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HAVING WATCHED his charge finish a disappointing eighth at the 2021 World Under-20 Championships, Julian Robinson, coach of national junior thrower Kobe Lawrence, is eyeing a podium finish at this year’s event.

The World Under-20 Championships will be held in Cali, Colombia, from August 1-6.

Lawrence, who has had some outstanding performances this year in both shot put and discus events, threw 18.32 metres for a disappointing eighth place in the shot put at the championships in Nairobi, Kenya, in August last year.

He has since improved his personal best mark to 20.02 metres this season, which has put him third in the world behind his countryman Christopher Young (20.20) and world’s number one Yauheni Bruhi of Belarus, 20.36.

“Last time he went to Kenya at the World Under-20, he finished eighth and we are hoping to do better than that in the shot put and even secure a medal,” said Robinson.

“He is humble and he believes in himself and his ability and I hope he will do well,” he said.

Lawrence was a second-place finisher in the shot put at this year’s ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships in April, but won the discus event at the five-day meet. The 18-year-old Lawrence also won the discus event at the Carifta Games a week later.

He is currently ranked sixth in the world among the juniors in the discus event with a mark of 60.92m.

Steven Richter from Germany is the world’s number one with a mark of 63.79m.

GOOD SHOWING EXPECTED

Robinson, who has guided the careers of a number of Jamaica’s top throwers for the past two decades, pointed out that Lawrence has been working very hard in the build-up to the National Junior Trials next month and therefore is expecting a good showing from him in both events.

“We have started a new macro cycle and so for me, I see the trials as not a target meet, but as a meet preparing for the World Juniors,” he said.

“Not that I assume he will make it out of trials, but I want him to do well at the World Juniors, I have to start loading him up again to compete in the World Juniors,” Robinson said.

The veteran coach added that the field in both events at the trials is going to be very competitive and therefore he is expecting a very exciting championship.

“The challenge is to finish in the top two at the trials, but he has two chances to do so, one in the shot put and one in the discus so with God’s will, he will be ready,” Robinson said.

“It is going to be competitive, especially the shot put, but it will be more or less the same persons who went to the Champs will return at trials. Some persons would have improved and some persons would have regressed,” he said.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com