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Slimmed down Cremona banking on shot success this year

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At the family business where South African shot putter Orazio Cremona works when he is not honing his skills as a shot putter, the wise following wise words are often heard: ‘A deal is never done until the money’s in the bank.’
At last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Cremona learnt the truth of this saying the hard way when he finished fourth, 46 centimetres short of winning the bronze medal.
‘Not being able to win a medal really hurt, especially because I thought it was a mere formality to win one. Ironically, a distance of 20.13m would have been good enough to medal at any other Commonwealth Games. The mistake I made was to relax, which resulted in a loss of focus. I will take this lesson to the Olympic Games and any other World Championships where I should ever compete,’ Cremona said.
It will be a leaner version of Cremona who will take to the shot put circle this season as he has shed eight kilograms.  ‘More streamlined,’ is how the hpc-sponsored athlete describes himself.
‘I am now much more supple in the circle. Dropping a few kilograms does not mean that I lost power and strength – in fact I think I am stronger now than I was last year.’
It’s still early in the season but it definitely seems as Cremona might just be one of the athletes to watch this season.
This Monday he won the shot put at a one-hour meeting at Tuks with a distance of 19.94m. Die-hard athletics fans will tell you that distance isn’t really something to get excited about.
However, taking into account that Cremona trained for two hours on Monday morning, then went to work in Johannesburg, came back to Tuks in the afternoon where he trained another two hours and only then competed, his performance should be seen in a totally different light.
Cremona’s best distance last season was 20.63m, which means that he now ties with Burger Lambrechts as South Africa’s second-best shot put athlete ever. Only Janus Roberts (21.97m) had achieved a better distance.
‘Last year I went past 20 metres in 16 of the 18 competitions in which I competed which proves that I am at least consistent.
‘My goal now is to get past 20.50m as often as I can.  If I should succeed, it would mean that my peak throws could be over 21 metres which is where I want them to be.
‘It is important that I should not become obsessed and try to go for the really big throws too soon.  I have learned over the years that in shot put it is all about being patient with what you are doing.  During the previous season I tended to force matters by trying to go too far too soon and that just jaded me.’
Cremona plans to go to Europe in June.
‘I want to go for at least two months.  Although the World Championships in Beijing is only at the end of August, it is important for me to have enough time at home to ‘settle my mind’.
‘I really want to do well at Worlds. I want to make the top-five at least.’
Cremona considers his seventh place at the finals of the World Indoor Championships; winning the African title and achieving 4th place at the Commonwealth Games as his highlights for 2014.


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