National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

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Start of the journey

Disappointed Wright offers Pan Am perspective

Kwame Laurence :: Trinidad Express :: 08.08.2019

Andwuelle Wright was unable to reproduce the form that had earned him North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Under-23 Championship gold in Mexico, last month, and was forced to settle for seventh spot in the men's long jump final on his Pan American Games debut here in Lima, Peru, on Wednesday.

At the NACAC meet, Wright disturbed the sand at 8.25 metres to improve on the 8.23 Trinidad and Tobago record he had established in 2018. At Lima 2019, the Tobago jumper could only manage a 7.62m leap.

"The competition didn't go as planned," a low-key Wright told the Express. "I'm a bit disappointed with my performance and my placing. I know I could have produced something big and ended up on the podium, but I guess this is what God had planned for me."

Twenty-year-old Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria jumped 8.27m to strike Pan Am Games gold. Jamaican Tajay Gayle was the silver medallist at 8.17, with bronze going to Uruguay's Emiliano Lasa (7.87).

Late last month, at the NGC NAAA National Open Championships, Wright was golden. The winning leap, though, was 7.70m—well short of his national record.

"I guess it's just a couple competitions that didn't go to plan. Now, it's back to the drawing board, ahead of the World Championships. It's about staying focused and sticking with the process."

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The 2019 IAAF World Championships will be staged between September 27 and October 6 in Doha, Qatar. Wright is currently seventh on the 2019 IAAF world outdoor performance list at 8.25m, and has a good shot at a top-eight finish. To be among the best in the world, however, he would need to regain his eight-metre form. And, all things being equal, a surprise trip to the podium would probably require a new T&T record.

Wright, who celebrated his 22nd birthday yesterday, is confident of stepping up his game in Doha, and challenging for a medal. And while he was a disappointed man on Wednesday, following his first-ever Pan Am Games outing, the Daily Express July Star of the Month was able to put the performance in perspective.

"There's a lot in store for me once my career goes to plan and I stay healthy. There'll be a lot of Pan Am Games and a lot of other big meets like World Championships and Olympics," Wright ended. "This is just the beginning of a long journey."


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Start of the journey - Disappointed Wright offers Pan Am perspective
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NATIONAL CHAMPION: Andwuelle Wright leaps to NGC NAAA National Open Championship men's long jump gold at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad, late last month. -Photo: DENNIS ALLEN for @TTGameplan

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