Duquemin rues shaky start in final but vows to fight hard to get to Europeans

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SHADINE DUQUEMIN is hoping all roads will lead to Rome as she attempts to put a disappointing 2022 Commonwealth Games behind her.

The Islander has targeted international selection for the 2024 European Championships in the Italian capital, after claiming tenth with what she believes was a below-par performance in the women’s discus final at Alexander Stadium.

Duquemin had hoped to end the opening three rounds in the top eight on Tuesday night – to secure three further throws alongside some of the world’s best – but she finished 27cm short of the mark required, with a best of 52.87m.

A new personal best, exceeding 56.81m, would almost certainly have been enough for fourth place overall, at the very least.

‘Looking at the field … I was competitive,’ said Duquemin, discussing her second Commonwealth appearance. ‘The medallists did well but there were no outstanding performances and if I’d put a good throw together I would have been in the mix.

‘I had a bigger throw in warm-up that was closer to mid-50s. It would have been enough to make the top eight and that’s what I wanted – top eight – because then I could have built. It’s a shame I completely messed up the first one. I wasted a round.

‘I knew I could throw well beyond what I needed to make the cut.’

Duquemin, who claimed 14th overall at Glasgow 2014, fouled her opening attempt before recorded her best throw of the competition. She backed that up with a 51.68m-effort, having dropped down to ninth at the end of round two.

‘I tried to soak up the atmosphere,’ she added. ‘It’s been eight years since Glasgow … I’ve waited a long time for this Games and I said to myself that, whatever happens, I wanted to have fun. The athlete in me is annoyed because I have so much more to give, but I had my two training partners here competing too [Jade Lally and Kirsty Law] and after my three rounds I had a good front-row seat to support them in a good discus competition.’

The 27-year-old’s dreams of qualifying for Great Britain at the upcoming European Championships, due to be held in Munich later this month, were scuppered by a controversial officiating decision at the 2022 British Championships. Her longest throw – enough for a medal – was erased from the card after one of the judges deemed it a foul, despite the remaining judges viewing it as a legal throw and marking it as such.

‘I want to chase big distances now and try to get my world ranking as high as I can,’ said Duquemin, who is due to travel to Portugal tomorrow, ahead of two international competitions over the weekend. ‘That will set me up for next year and the year after, when I’ll hopefully have the Europeans.

‘I need more experiences like this and I’m going to fight hard to get them.’

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