One of the world’s top javelin coaches is marking Cayman thrower Alex Pascal for future world honors, he thinks so highly of the teenager.
Jeff Gorski, head coach of Klub Keihas in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and a former United States national coach, said that Pascal, who turns 19 next week, is capable of becoming one of the world’s best.
Pascal won the Pan Am Junior title in Colombia in the summer, as well as a number of other medals. He holds Cayman’s national record with a throw of 72.83 meters.
He also won silver at the senior Central America and Caribbean Games in Mexico, which shocked his adult rivals.
Pascal is already throwing as far as elite adults and hopes to become a world champion after finishing studying at the University of Missouri, where he has just begun pursuing a business management degree.
“I have known and helped Alex for the last two years, starting when Alex and his father Richard came to Chapel Hill, to train with me for several sessions,” Gorski said.
“Since then, I’ve monitored and assisted Alex, mainly via email and video clips. This young man has world class talent and potential.”
Gorski is impressed that Pascal has done so well this year despite his inexperience and competing in back-to-back meets with little time to fully prepare.
Gorski is well qualified to assess potential, he has trained four U.S. Olympic teams and is now running an elite development program for U.S. junior javelin throwers in conjunction with the national javelin coaches from Finland.
“Until an accident rendered my wife paralyzed, I was the national javelin chairman for USA Track & Field,” Gorski said.
“Judging or evaluating talent and potential in javelin has been my life for over 30 years, and Alex is among the most talented juniors I have ever seen.”
Gorski added that results Pascal had this season have already put him in pretty lofty company.
“He would have easily been in the top three junior men in Finland, where the passion and success of that event is one of the standards of world athletics.
“His result at the Pan Am Juniors in Colombia would have had him close to a medal at the European Juniors.
“The amazing thing is Alex has reached these world class results basically working with the basic resources he and his father could muster, while his European counterparts have regular access and use of the best facilities, equipment and coaches available.”
Gorski said that in Finland aspiring athletes have the benefit of training alongside their senior counterparts, preparing for Olympic or world championships podium places. Pascal has no mentors of that caliber from which to learn.
“Even with these challenging situations, Alex is at the threshold of being a senior level elite thrower,” Gorski said. “His ability to beat 80 meters is not in question to me. I see him with 85m or more top end potential.”
Gorski added that he hopes Cayman can continue to provide Pascal with the support he deserves.
“Javelin talent is a rich, yet untapped, potential in the Caribbean. Outside of Cuba, there has been little until the emergence of Keshorn Walcott (who won the Olympics last year). This may well be an area of future domination for the Cayman Islands!”
Pascal said: “I really appreciate what Jeff has said about me and done for me. It’s great to be recognized by someone so highly respected.”