Shanice Craft shakes the German discus throne. At the Diamond League meeting in Eugene (USA), the 21-year-old ended up with 65.38 meters for the first time before Nadine Müller and the other national competition. The Coup she repeated on Monday in Rehlinger (65.17 m). Changes in strength training, strong nerves and a greater experience in the ring let Craft dream from European Championships ticket.
Strong performances by Shanice Craft
So far it was quite certain that Nadine Müller and Julia Fischer will be set for the 2014 European Championships in Zurich. And the third spot left in the team would be fought about between Anna Rüh and Shanice Craft. Meanwhile, things are slightly different.
In the current condition, the 21-year old has it what it takes to shake the national supremacy of Nadine Müller. At the Diamond League meeting in Eugene Craft landed for the first time before the German number one. With a distance of 65.38 meters, a new personal best, only the World Champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia (69,32m) defeated Craft.
Craft also threw another massive toss of 64,85m at the Halleschen Werfertage. At the European Winter throwing cup she also threw 64,16m which underlines her great shape. Couple of days after she threw 65,17m to beat Müller and Fischer at a smaller meeting in Rehlingen, Germany.
Diamond League regular
Meanwhile, the young thrower is a regular guest at international meetings. She has been scheduled for the Diamond League meetings in Paris and Glasgow. The slogan on her Facebook page fits Shanice Craft quite well: “It always Seems impossible until it’s done,”.
Before the competition in Eugene Craft thought the discus would only fly only 63-64m after 20 hours of traveling. In addition, she was afraid of the fact that only six instead of eight throwers would be able to make it to the final three rounds.
According to the start list Shanice was set with the shortest distance and was due to that under special pressure. She did exchange the tension into positive energy. “This was a additional incentive”, she says.
Missed Olympia ticket
Ever since the 2012 Olympic Games Shanice Craft transformed negative experience into extra motivation. Despite the fact that Shanice Craft manage to throw the qualification standard for the Olympic Games, she still remain home. During the last round of the German Championships Anna Rüh took the third spot in the team. “After that, I swore to myself that such a thing should not happen again to me,” says Shanice Craft.
In the two years since then much has happened. Despite the fact that Shanice is only 21 years old, working for the federal police, has now developed a greater experience in the ring. “My body is feeling become much better, I realise my mistakes now myself,”, she says. She used to rely on her coach on Sven Schwarz and Iris Manke-reiners.
Recently, Shanice Craft has also changed on the advice of experts at the Heidelberg Olympic facilityher strength training. “I now do a lot more general strength exercises,” she says. This prevents me from injuries and supports my general well-being when throwing. Also technically changes are finally paying off: “I can now hold positions that were not possible before due my previous lack of strenght.
Lower volumes than the competition
In contrast to the national competition Shanice Craft goes far smaller volumes in training. “I’d rather do a few throws, but technically clean. I do not know if my body would ever tolerate higher volumes, “says Craft
Crafts weak points are the adductors. Due to problems in the thigh she was able to complete only a few discus competitions in 2013. The pain is still there, but at least Craft knows now, where do they originate: a few weeks ago, the doctors diagnosed her pelvic obliquity. With exercises for the lower abdominal muscles the athlete wants to counteract the now.
Even strong with the4kg ball
As last year, the adductors made the discus throw often impossible Shanice Craft turned more and more to the shot put. For years, she did both disciplines parallel, although the discus a priority.
That Craft can also handle the ball, she has repeatedly demonstrated in the past. At the 2012 U20 World Championships she won her gold medal. A year later she won the silver medal at the U23 European Championships. Most recently, she approached the shot put also at the Diamond League meeting in Doha at the beginning of May. She improved her personal best to 17,47m which also is only 53cm short of the qualification standard for the European Championships.
In Zurich only in the discus ring
In Zurich, the 21-year-old will only take part in the discus event. The schedule does not allow to do both, the qualifications are on the same day and just a few minutes offset. So Craft will focus on the discus throw.
Source: leichtathletik.de by Philip Häfner