Monday, April 16, 2018
By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
GOLD Coast, Australia — After taking a chance taking off on his left jumping foot in the preliminaries two days before, Latario Collie went back to the right foot in the final and although he improved on his performance, he finished 11th in the men’s triple on Saturday’s final day of competition at the XXI Commonwealth Games.
The 24-year-old Collie popped a leap of 15.90 metres on his third jump, but it wasn’t enough to advance him to the final three rounds where the top eight competitors battled it out for the medals.
Troy Doris of Guyana had a season’s best of 16.88m (55-4 3/4) for the gold. Yordanys Duranona Garcia of Dominica nailed the silver with 16.86 (55-3 3/4) on his first attempt and Marcel Mayack II of Cameroon bagged the bronze with a personal best of 16.80m (55-1 1/2) on his sixth attempt.
Slightly disappointed in the outcome, Collie said he knew exactly what went wrong.
“It wasn’t what I expected,” Collie said. “I think I just need to jump a lot more. This was just my first meet for the year. So I think I have a lot of work to do. But I’m glad that I got the opportunity to compete. Now I know what I have to work on. It’s still early, so if I can get in some meets, I will be okay.”
The twin brother of long jumper Lathone Collie, who both reside in College Station, Texas where they train each other, said he knew he could do a lot better, so he decided to switch back to his normal right leg to take off. The problem is, that was the leg that he suffered an injury and required surgery back in 2016.
“I think if I hadn’t take that year off, I would have been much further than I am right now,” Collie said. “But I’m glad that I had the surgery. Now I get a chance to compete again. But if I can just get in some meets, I know that I will be right where I want to be competing against these guys.”
Opening with a leap of 15.71m (51-6 1/2) on his first attempt, Collie ran through the latter phase of his second attempt. He indicated that he didn’t have any problems with his leg. He just came too close to one of the machines and wanted to avoid hitting it. He rebounded and landed his best mark on his final attempt.
It just wasn’t enough to get him into the final.
“I just have to go back work on my approach,” said Collie, who plans on working a little more with Peter Pratt, his long-time coach who assisted him on the sidelines here. “I know I can get back to this level. I just need some more meets and I will be okay.”
With the Central American and Caribbean Games in July in Colombia as the next major international meet this year, Collie said he hopes to be ready so that he can improve on his performance here.
Collie, dubbed as the next great triple jumper to excel on the international scene, was coming off a disappointing showing at the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he failed to record a mark in his three attempts during the qualifying round.
Prior to that, Collie was the IAAF World Youth Championships gold medallist in 2010 in Lille, France and the IAAF World Junior Championship’s bronze medallist in Barcelona, Spain in 2013.
Although he went on to excel at Texas A&M University, he never surged to the senior level as anticipated.
“I know a lot was expected of me, but I know I can get back to that level and become the competitor that everybody expected me to be,” Collie said. “I know I can do it.”