The first major award, the first own home and the first service for the adlt national team – Step by step it is going for Shanice Craft. A different approach she is taking for the dicisison: Is the 19-year-old discus thrower or shot-putter? The shot put has caught up due to the gold medal at last years Junior World Championships in Barcelona.
At last years World Championships in Barcelona, Shanince Craft was a small miracle: With an absolute personal best of 16.06m (52′ 8″) she arrived in Barcelona. She grabbed gold with an improvement over 1m to 17.15m (56′ 3″). “With this win I’m more motivated in this discipline,” said the 1.84m (6′) tall athlete.
At the beginning of the indoor season she had two competitions around 16.50m (54′ 1″) as a result of the increased work with the shot put. During the last attempt of the national indoor championships she surprised not only herself but everybody. She tossed the shot put to 17.66m (57′ 11″) which meant bronze and in addition was qualified for the European indoor Championships.
“Regarding the shot put I obviously need high pressure in order to throw far, ” is the explanation of the unexpected inprovement. Shanice showed at the European Indoor Championships in Gotheburg, Sweden that the 17.66m (57′ 11″) was not an accident. She pushed the shot put to 17.30m (56′ 9″) which was 17cm (6″) short for the final but still it was her 2nd best shot put of her young career.
Shanice, who was the youngest athlete of the german national team competing in Gotheburg, did not only know that she is able to perform at high level even in major competitons, but also experienced the championships in a positive way.
“The team acknoledged me very well. I was in the room with Verena Saler who is also from my club in Mannheim and therefore we knew each other very well. She has a lot of experience and helped me a lot to be able to be calm during the competition”, said Shanice.
The promising youngster was able to take the next step on the career ladder, last year the jump to the national team of adults had been denied – despite fulfilled European Championships and Olympic standard in the discus. This was because for the first time in this millennium four german athletes threw more than 62m (203′ 4″).
Shanice Craft was with her 62.92m (206′ 5″) after Nadine Müller 68.99m (226′ 4″), Julia Fischer 64.22m (210′ 8″) and the also only 19-year-old Anna Rüh 63.38 m (207′ 11″) only fourth-best among them and thus had to stay at home. “Sure it’s annoying, despite the qualification standard not been allowed to go, especially at the Olympics,” said the aspiring police officer. On the other hand the strong national competition encourages to give the best in training every day.
The 62m (203′ 4″) are once again the qualification standard for the World Championships in Moscow, Russia (10th to 18th of August). It is clear to Shaince that the fact that this distance will no be sufficient to go. Her goal is 63m (206′ 8″).
With 60.14m (197′ 3″) and winning the U23 European Winter Cup in Castellon (Spain) Shanice Craft has proven that despite her recent shot put competititons she is still able to throw the discus very far.
The recent success with the shot put changed Shanice decisison about what to do with the shot put. She is planning on a “equivalent” role between discus and the shot put. At the last U23 European Championships two years ago, 17.88m (58′ 7″) was enough for bronze and 59.60m (195′ 6″) were needed for the victory in the discus throw. These distances are reason enough for Shanice to compete in both events at the European Championships in Tampere, Finnland (11th to 14th of July).
Along the way it goes in the first two weeks of April into a training camp on Mallorca (Spain). The first competitions in the summer will then be the Werfercup in Wiesbaden (19 May) and the Halleschen Werfertage (25-26. May).
In last October Shanice realised what a successful career means regarding interviews. She was voted “Junior Sportswomen of the Year” by the German Sport Aid and hat a lot of interviews to answer to. “During the time of the ceremony there were a lot of questions, which was nice. However, then it was also pleasant when it was quite again”
Rest finds the 19-year-old from now on in her first own flat in Mannheim. Her education to the federal police officer is broken down into blocks, each September to December, the remaining months the sport is at the center. “Thus, I’m more at home and I wanted my own place. Still my mum supports me very much.”