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Rocco ready to rise to the next challenge in New York
- Updated: June 7, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Rising javelin star Rocco van Rooyen will travel to New York on Wednesday a wiser man ahead of his second Diamond League meeting at the weekend.
After rocketing up to fourth best on the South African javelin rankings with his 85.39-metre effort at Green Point last month, the Capetonian made his Diamond League debut in Rome this week.
And although his 80.33m best-of-the-night effort would have no doubt disappointed him, the youngster will take a lot from that meeting.
‘It was a great experience and I’m taking lots away from it,’ he told Road to Rio 2016. ‘I didn’t have javelins in the warm-up area whlile the other competitors had those big medicine balls and their own javelins. Also we only had two warm-up throws and I usually take a while to find my rhythm.
‘So I took my first throw with a very easy run.’
That turned out to be the best throw of the evening for the 22-year-old. ‘After that when I started running quicker my rhythm was completely out and I couldn’t get it back and the stress kicked in!’
But he’s learnt from that already. ‘The ice is now broken and now I know what to expect from the big meetings,’ said the former African Zone XI Games competitor.
‘For me it’s a big question of mindset. I’m probably going to buy myself a ball as well if there aren’t going to be javelins in the warm-up area. If I feel comfortable and get my rhythm early then obviously I won’t stress as much.
‘I’ll take a seventh spot for now but I’m nice and hungry to make things right and to move back up to that 85m distance again.
‘Luckily the weather here in Italy, where I’ve been for a week, is great so I’ve been working nicely on my rhythm and really looking forward to Saturday’s Diamond League.’