The reason why Orazio Cremona, the South African as well as African shot put champion, has not been performing at his best lately is a groin injury. Cremona won the SA title in Stellenbosch with a distance of 20.49 metres but since then he was unable to throw farther than 20 metres in any of his three international competitions. His best distance was at the Diamond League Meeting in New York where he was eighth with a distance of 19.51 metres.
He does not mince words when asked about the way his international campaign is playing out. The Tuks/HPC athlete says: ‘I am totally frustrated. Last year I went past 20 metres in 16 of the 18 competitions in which I competed, which showed that I was at least consistent. But now, suddenly, I cannot even get close to it. My immediate goal for this season was to go past 20.50m as often as I possibly can, but it certainly did not work out the way I was hoping for. I was slightly stiff from the long travel when I competed at the World Challenge Meeting in Beijing and I think that was where my problems started. In New York I could feel that something was seriously wrong. I went to a physiotherapist who managed to loosen me up. In hindsight it seems to have been a mistake because when I started competing I aggravated my injury by doing too much. I could not reach my maximum throwing potential because I experienced what felt like little stabs in my glut muscles and groin. Luckily it gets better every week. Last week I was only able to do about ten full throws while training, but this week I have done 20 full throws already. However, I am still not throwing the distances I should like to, but at least I am beginning to find my rhythm again.’
Cremona does not plan to compete in any meetings before the World Championships in Beijing. He says: ‘I know it is not ideal but it is more important for me to fully recover and be at my best at the World Championships. Right from the start I had only one goal for the season and that was to do well in Beijing. The fact that I have not competed a lot ought not to be a problem. Before last year’s World Indoor Championships I competed in only two warm-up meetings. My build-up to the Commonwealth Games was also far from ideal. I am a better competitor at Championship level, especially if I am free from health problems and able to move freely in the circle. The important thing for me is to stay patient. There are still more than 50 days to go before the World Championships. I just need to keep my head down and stay focused.’
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott