Mental strength, support team keys to 2018 success for Sportsman of the Year Fedrick Dacres

By January 20, 2019
Fedrick Dacres and Sportswoman of the Year Alia Atkinson at the awards ceremony on Friday night. Fedrick Dacres and Sportswoman of the Year Alia Atkinson at the awards ceremony on Friday night.

2018 was easily Jamaica’s Sportsman of the Year Fedrick Dacres’ most successful year. It was also a year of discovery.

Seven years removed from his first world title when he won the IAAF World Under 18 title in France and six years after he won the World U20 title in Barcelona, Dacres has evolved from a skinny Calabar High thrower to a powerful world beater.

At 1.91m and north of 113kg, Dacres can now bench in excess of 210kg and deadlift a lot more, but in 2018, he discovered that his greatest strength may be inside his head.

His year began with a record-breaking, gold medal performance at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. He would go on to win the Diamond League title, the NACAC Senior Champions and the season-ending Continental Cup.

He would set a new national record of 69.67m, which was also the world leader until the end of August when Sweden’s Daniel Stahl surpassed it by five centimetres.

What was incredible about the season was that Dacres accomplished much of it with a damaged meniscus in his left knee, an injury suffered in Estonia in June. Continuing to compete at the highest level with a heavily strapped knee taught him a lot about himself he said.

“I think I am strong. I am not talking about physical strength, I know I am physically strong but mentally strong,” Dacres told Sportsmax.TV after collecting his first Sportsman of the Year award at the Jamaica Pegasus on Friday night.

“For me to give my best performances after I suffered the injury. It was an eye-opener for me.”

Notwithstanding the eye-opening experience, he acknowledged that his accomplishments in 2018 would not have been possible without the people behind him including his coach Julian Robinson, who has been his coach since his days at Calabar High.

In his acceptance speech, he lauded them saying they were the reason why he was there. He expounded on it afterwards.

“What people don’t understand is that when things go wrong you don’t think about can push past it unless someone is there to say ‘you can do it’. For me, I have been through a lot and at some point, I asked myself why am I doing this. I am destroying my body and when I get older I am going to suffer,” he said.

“So to have someone behind you…it’s just that if they weren’t there I would not be here.”




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 he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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