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Cremona’s comeback continues… but at his own pace
- Updated: April 26, 2016
After winning the South African shot put title with a distance of 19.85 metres and the ASA Night Series-meeting in Port Elizabeth (20.05m) it would be easy to write Orazio Cremona off.
The big Tuks/HPC-athlete’s best distances for the season certainly don’t compare favourably with his best distance of 20.63m which puts him level with Burger Lambrechts as South Africa’s second-best shot put athlete ever. Only Janus Roberts (21.97m) has managed to achieve a better distance.
In spite of not having yet performed according to expectations, both Cremona and his coach, Dup du Preez, remain positive that the ‘big man’ of South African athletics will be able bounce back.
Du Preez points out that Cremona competed with a fractured femur during most of last season without him knowing about it.
‘The important thing for us was to make sure Orazio had fully recovered before seriously resuming his training. He also had to rid his mind of the ‘injury’ and regain confidence in his abilities as a shot putter. I think after the national championships in Stellenbosch we know that the time has come to start with the hard work.’
Cremona’s next competition will be the South African Open Meeting in Bloemfontein (6-7 May). He also hopes to compete in two or three European meetings before returning to South Africa to prepare for the African Championships (22-26 June).
‘I’d love to win the African title for a second time but it will not be easy. I think there’ll be about eight athletes who are capable of throwing well beyond 20 metres,’ said Cremona, who won the title in 2014.
Actually 2014 was the Tuks/HPC athlete’s best year. He finished seventh at the Indoor World Championships and fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
While Cremona is confident of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Rio he’s also realistic. ‘It’s important that I don’t become obsessed with throwing big throws. I’ve learned over the years that in shot put it’s all about being patient. When you try to force things in shot put you will certainly fail. So my focus will be on making sure that my technique is 100% correct when I am competing. If I manage to do that, the big distance will happen.’
One thing is certain Cremona thrives when he is under pressure. Apart from training a good few hours every day, he also puts in long hours at the family’s cheese factory. As if this was not enough, he agreed to become involved with The Forum for Athletes South Africa (FASA) at management level.
‘FASA understands the important role played by our sport governing bodies and the enormous responsibility they carry on their shoulders. We will endeavour to work with and assist the sport governing bodies in whichever way possible to achieve our common goal: to make South African athletics more prosperous,’ explained Cremona.
Picture courtesy of Reg Caldecott