Thu | Sep 28, 2023

Lawrence wants to enjoy final year of Champs

Published:Monday | January 9, 2023 | 12:52 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
Kobe Lawrence
Kobe Lawrence

World Under-20 shot put silver-medallist Kobe Lawrence wants to make his final season at Calabar High School as memorable and as enjoyable as possible, although he knows that the expectations surrounding him have increased after a landmark 2022.

Lawrence took the first step towards that after strong performances at the Pure Water/JC/R Danny Williams Meet at Ashenheim Stadium on Saturday.

Lawrence won the Class One boys discus event with an effort of 61.55 metres on Friday and the shot put with a throw of 19.41m. He threw more than 19ms three times in his series.

The Calabar strongman is bound for the University of Oregon later this year and he said that he is putting his focus towards a season where he continues the form which saw him make the podium at last year’s World Under-20 championships while soaking in every part of his senior year.

“The most important thing for me is to have an injury-free season where I can compete all season and have fun with the last year of high school,” Lawrence told The Gleaner on Saturday.

For Lawrence, his landmark achievement last August, becoming the first Jamaican junior to win a global medal in the shot put was one that increased his confidence, but his belief in his own potential, which he knows will be under the radar this year.

“It has done a lot for me because it shows that I have something in me. I have some potential there,” Lawrence said. “To go and get a World Under medal does motivate me to keep myself at a high standard. I know that people are watching me now.”

That season also included a Carifta Games double capturing the Under 20 shot put and discus titles.

It is that high standard which Oregon will be getting this fall as a member of the 2023 recruiting class. Having grown during his time with coach Julian Robinson, Lawrence said that having a similar calibre coach was what influenced him to make the choice to become an Oregon Duck.

“I wanted to transition to having another good coach because I know the importance of having a good coach. So I tried to find the best coach I can find and Oregon has that,” Lawrence said.

His immediate concerns will be completing the throws double at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships after settling for silver last year, goals that for him would be the ideal gifts for himself and for Calabar to close his high school chapter.

“I had some really good performances. I’m happy with the discus on Friday, happy with the shot put today (Saturday). I’m just hoping that I can continue to build on this as the season progresses,” Lawrence said.