Erica Belvit breaks Jamaica’s national weight-throw record, sets sights on Paris Olympics

By February 11, 2024
Belvit and her coach after setting a new Jamaican national weight-throw record on Saturday. Belvit and her coach after setting a new Jamaican national weight-throw record on Saturday. Wilfredo de Jesus Elias Instagram

In a moment of pure exhilaration, Jamaica's female hammer thrower, Erica Belvit, shattered Jamaica's national weight throw indoor record during the URI Coaches Invitational at Rhode Island on Saturday. The impressive throw of 23.08m not only secured her place in the record books but also marked a significant milestone in her quest for a spot at the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The mark, if ratified, will eclipse the record of 22.95m set by Kim Barnett in March 2004. Erica was a class above her competition that included her younger sister Hope, a senior at Northeastern, who was a distant second with her best throw of 17.92m.

Megan Wood, a junior of Rhode Island was third with 17.02m.

Erica, overwhelmed with emotion, shared her immediate reaction to the record-breaking moment, saying, "I was jumping and screaming! I didn’t expect it; I just knew something was going to happen for sure! I have so much in the tank ready to go."

The achievement comes after meticulous preparation, with Belvit and her coach, Wilfredo de Jesus Elias, dedicating their focus exclusively to the hammer throw and outdoor events in the lead-up to the 2024 track and field season. The URI Coaches Invitational served as a platform to fine-tune her competition mindset after a hiatus from competing.

Reflecting on her preparation for the season, Belvit mentioned, “This meet was just to ‘shake some dust off’ and practice getting into that competition mindset since I haven’t competed since July."

The disappointment of being overlooked for Jamaica's team at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in 2023 fueled Belvit's determination to make her mark in Paris this summer. Addressing the setback, she expressed, "Yes, it changed my whole view of training and competing. I was heartbroken for some time. Now we move forward."

Despite a challenging off-season marked by illness, Belvit's mental fortitude and patience played a pivotal role in her development. She shared insights into her off-season journey, stating, "My off-season started pretty rocky. I had gotten sick, which delayed my start for several weeks. When I was able to start training again, we focused on recovery and gradually increasing my training. I grew so much mentally during that time because I had to be patient with my body."

Looking ahead, Belvit has set ambitious yet straightforward targets for the season. Her focus is on giving her all each day, without regrets or holding back, believing that this approach will propel her toward success.

The 23-metre throw represents a significant step forward for Belvit and her coach. She sees it as evidence that their hard work is paying off and that they are heading in the right direction. As she shifts her attention to outdoor competitions, Belvit is eager to continue her journey, armed with newfound confidence and the belief that she has more to offer in pursuit of Olympic glory in Paris.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

Related items

  • Olympian and World champion Christine Day inspires Tacky High School house victory Olympian and World champion Christine Day inspires Tacky High School house victory

    In a triumphant display of school spirit and athletic prowess, Christine Day, the Jamaican Olympian and Commonwealth Games champion, spearheaded her eponymous house to a resounding victory at Tacky High School's sports day last Thursday. Despite her significant achievements, Day had largely flown under the radar in her home country until her high school honoured her by renaming a school house after her last year.

    Formerly known as Grant House, Day House, after a 12-year hiatus, clinched the sports day crown with an impressive total of 486 points, overcoming challenges from rival houses Hudson, Ashton, and Crawford. This marked a significant milestone for Day House, as their last victory dated back to 2012.

    The decision to rename the houses came as part of an initiative by the school administration to honour contemporary past students who have excelled in various fields. School principal Errol Bascoe explained the reasoning behind the change, stating, “What was happening is that the patrons for the houses have been some old-timers, business people in the area. Some have died, and we think that the sport itself was dying with the patrons, and so it was a consensus of the school that we look for past students who are doing well and who have done well; in whatever area.”

    Day was a natural choice for this honour. Principal Bascoe revealed that Day wasn't merely a patron in name; she brought a burst of energy and enthusiasm to the sports day preparations. "Christine was integral in the planning. She gave them jerseys, she came with her energy drinks, she gave them everything, and she was there jumping up and blowing the vuvuzelas with them."

    Day, the 2015 national 400m champion, 2015 World Championship 4x400m gold medalist and a two-time Commonwealth Games 4x400m relay gold medalist, has often been overshadowed despite her impressive athletic achievements.

     When her high school named a house in her honor last November, she was visibly moved by the gesture. "I felt really elated and overwhelmed that my high school considered using me, my name for one of the school houses. It actually makes me realize that I am appreciated and loved by my school community," Day expressed.

    Buoyed by this recognition, Day went above and beyond to support her house. She garnered donations from friends, including notable Olympians, to provide essential items for the athletes. The support included shirts, energy drinks, banners, fruit, water, and even a massage gun.

    “I got help from Andisports Management, my besty, Kaliese Spencer; Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Rusheen McDonald, my daddy Hope Day, sister Jonique Day; as well as Andre Edwards, Aundrae Drummonds, Miguel Melbourne, Miquel Emmanuel and Jerald Irons,” she said.

    Her efforts paid off as Day House secured a convincing victory, echoing the excitement and energy of the renowned ISSA GraceKennedy Boys and Girls Championships.

    Reflecting on the success, Christine Day said, "The energy was like at Champs vibes. There was a lot of excitement and joy coming from both teachers, students, and supporters." The win not only showcased the athletic prowess of Tacky High School's students but also highlighted the impact a dedicated and honored alumna like Christine Day can have on inspiring future generations.

  • Shericka Jackson nominated for 2024 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year following stellar year Shericka Jackson nominated for 2024 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year following stellar year

    Reigning Women’s World Athletics 200m champion, Shericka Jackson, has achieved another remarkable feat as she secures a spot among the nominees for the highly prestigious 2024 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year. The announcement, made on Monday, February 26, recognizes Jackson's outstanding achievements on the track.

    Jackson, who clinched her second world 200m title in Budapest last year with a remarkable time of 21.41 seconds, stands as the second-fastest of all time, just seven hundredths of a second shy of Florence Griffith-Joyner's 35-year-old record. Additionally, she earned a silver medal in the 100m at the World Championships and dominated the 2023 Diamond League, claiming titles in both the 100m and 200m events. Her exceptional form was further emphasized by a personal best of 10.65 seconds at the Jamaica national championships in June.

    The Jamaican sprinter finds herself in the esteemed company of two other track and field luminaries: Women's World 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson of the USA and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon, who made history by becoming the first woman to triumph in both the 1,500 and 5,000 meters at the World Championships.

    The list of nominees is completed by outstanding athletes from various disciplines, including Spanish footballer Aitana Bonmati, American skier Mikaela Shiffrin, and Polish tennis sensation Iga Swiatek.

    It's worth noting that Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce claimed the prestigious Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award in 2023. This adds an extra layer of distinction to Jackson's nomination, as she follows in the footsteps of her illustrious compatriot.

    The Laureus World Sportsman of the Year category boasts an equally formidable lineup, featuring Noah Lyles, Novak Djokovic, Mondo Duplantis, Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Max Verstappen.Mikae

     

  • Lanae Thomas eager to shine for Jamaica at World Indoor Championships Lanae Thomas eager to shine for Jamaica at World Indoor Championships

    Jamaican athlete Lanae Thomas expressed her immense pride after being selected to represent Jamaica at the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Glasgow from March 1-3. The 23-year-old sprinter, who completed her transfer of allegiance from the United States to Jamaica in October 2023, is set to make her national team debut at the championships.

    Thomas, a two-time NCAA champion, will compete in the 400m category in Glasgow, aiming to showcase her talent and contribute to Jamaica's success at the championships. Despite facing setbacks in her previous attempt to represent Jamaica at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, due to delayed paperwork, Thomas is determined to make a significant impact in her first international appearance for Jamaica.

    Expressing her gratitude for the selection, Thomas stated, "I am honoured to have made this team, especially since they had to purposely select me." She emphasized her commitment to helping the team secure victories and using the experience as a stepping stone for future competitions.

    Thomas, born in Jamaica and an alumna of Vaz Prep, migrated to the United States for high school and attended the University of Southern California (USC) before completing her collegiate career at the University of Texas. Her notable achievements include impressive times of 51.67 and 51.88 in the 400m event during the current indoor season, along with a swift 22.72 run over 200m in early February.

    Reflecting on her journey, Thomas sees this season as a period of growth and views the World Championships as a valuable opportunity to strengthen herself and contribute to the team's success. She highlighted the importance of each meet as an opportunity for improvement, emphasizing her dedication to making her team stronger.

    Thomas concluded, "This has been a season of growth, and I think that’s one of the most important parts of the sport, and where better to grow than at a World Championships."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.