(left/photo by Paul Merca), a graduate of Marysvile-Pilchuck High School, finished second in the men's discus competition at the Pan American Games, contested at Telmex Athletics Stadium.
Rome threw a best of 202-5 (61.71m) as Cuba's Jorge Fernandez, who finished eighth at the Daegu world championships, took the victory with a best of 215-2 (65.58m).
Such was the Cuban's dominance Monday that any of his four fair throws would have won the competition.
Rome opened with a foul, then threw 200-1 (60.98m) in round 2, then got his best toss in round three. He then fouled his final three attempts, as Ronald Juliao of Brazil got close to the Boise State grad, as Juliao threw his best of 61.70 (202-5), one centimeter short of Rome's best on the day.
Afterwards, the 6-4, 300 pound Rome said, “Two days ago I threw in the ring. We weren’t suppose to, but I snuck into the stadium because the rings outside were brand new and really slick and I fell on my face. I sneak in here and the ring was perfect. Then yesterday I heard they put concrete over the ring and resurfaced the top and weren’t even sure it would be dry. So I get in the ring today and was slipping like Jason (teammate Young). So I went like 75 percent and couldn’t really do anything. My first throw went into cage as I slipped out of the back. My second throw was a safety throw to make sure I get to finals. And then my third throw was my best throw. But in order to compete with the Cuban (gold medalist Jorge Fernandez) I couldn’t afford to slip so it was a bad situation. I’m so large (6-4, 300) that when I move out of the back if it’s not a good surface I’m done. A lot of meets are stressful, because I have to make sure the ring is right in order to throw far. The Cuban threw well and I’m happy to get the silver."
“I took two weeks off instead of four weeks after the World Championships. I’m very happy that I’m here. This is definitely more than I thought it would be. In meets like this isn’t about the distance...it's about the place."
“I feel real good. My training the last four months has been the best training of my career leading up to the World Championships. I was very disappointed after the World Championships. I had PRed (68.76), which is third in the world right now, three weeks before the World Championships which was amazing. I had high expectations for Worlds but was really disappointed. I was eight centimeters away from reaching the finals in the World Championships. I was definitely in medal shape.”
Before leaving the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista for the Pan Am Games, Rome did a long interview with www.throwerspodcast.com about his career, weight training, and the technical changes he made that allowed him to set a PR this season.
You can access the podcast here.
Michael Mai, formerly based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, will throw in the men's hammer on Wednesday.
Complete results from day 2 of the track & field competition at the Pan Am Games are available here.
NOTE: Special thanks to Mike Mahon of USA Track & Field for his assistance in Mexico.
Monday, October 24, 2011
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