Jamaican thrower Ashinia Miller might have created history on Monday when he won the shot put competition at an Area Permit meeting in Tallinn, Estonia. Miller is most likely the first Jamaican track and field athlete to compete since the COVID19 pandemic shut all sports down globally in March.

In Estonia, Miller, the 2018 CAC Games silver medallist, won with a modest mark of 18.96m but just being able to compete has proven to be cathartic for the 26-year-old Jamaican.

For the last six months, Miller, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia, has been living in nearby Lithuania and training with 2017 World discus champion Andrius Gudzius under the guidance of Coach Vaclovas Kidykas. He has been living with his fiancé, Dr Alma Adomaityte, is from Lithuania, about a six-hour drive from where he competed on Monday.

However, being in lockdown, unable to compete and therefore unable to earn, have proven to be quite stressful for the powerfully built Jamaican, who also laments a relative lack of support from the Jamaica Athletic Administrative Association (JAAA).

Competing, he confessed, has allowed him to relieve some of the stress.

“Actually, I wasn’t supposed to be at the meet but I begged my fiancé, she’s a doctor; I begged her to let me go because the pandemic has been depressing,” he told Sportsmax.TV. “I’ve been sick. I have been to the ER like four times. Last week Monday, I spent the night in the hospital.

“I wasn’t supposed to go but it was mostly for mental health. I just wanted to go and feel alive again.”

That said, notwithstanding the win, Miller was not overly excited about his performance.

“The results weren’t good because I’ve been sick but I am happy about it, a little bit because it’s been tough going,” he said. “Jamaica hasn’t really helped.  The ministry of sports did send me money last month but I heard no more until next year.

“Everything has been tough: mentally, financially, everything’s been tough."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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