Discus thrower Chang decides to study and train at home

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer
reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — IAAF World Under-20 discus champion Kai Chang is staying home and will be attending school at the University of the West Indies, (UWI), Mona come next month, while continuing to develop as an athlete under the guidance of Julian Robinson.

Chang, who was the male captain of the Jamaica team that won 17 medals at the 20th Pan American Under-20 Championships that ended on Sunday in San Jose, Costa Rica, turned down dozens of offers from top American schools.

He says he thinks his present coach, Robinson, is the man who can get the best out of him.

“Officially I will be attending the University of the West Indies this August, where I will be furthering my athletics career under the guidance of Julian Robinson,” Chang said in confirming his decision.

Chang, who failed to medal in his two last competitions – the NACAC Under-23 in Mexico three weeks ago and also last weekend, placing fourth both times — said he has yet to sign a professional contract.

“I am yet to make that decision, but I will be going to school that is a must and to further my education. Where that (going professional) is concerned, I am still weighing my options and I am still trying to decide what to do,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

At UWI he will continue to train with world number two ranked Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle, both of whom are ranked first and second of all times as male Jamaican discus throwers.

Chang, who threw a season's best 60.38m with the 1.75K discus at the Pan American Under-20 Championships, says he will be studying sports kinetics at UWI, Mona as he hopes to stay involved in sports, “maybe some sports management, I am not sure yet”.

Despite the overwhelming number of offers he got over the last two seasons, especially since he won the IAAF Under-20 title in Tampere, Finland, last year, the decision to stay home was not a difficult one, he said.

“I think I still have a lot of untouched potential based on what I do in training and competitions.

“This year has been rough with injuries, and [I] still think I have not performed to the best of my abilities and I think Mr Robinson knows me and I think he is the person who can bring out the best in me...he is the engineer; he is the man,” Chang said.


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