Updated: July 2, 2015

Orazio Cremona is fighting back from a persistent injury as he targets the World Championships in Beijing (photo credit: Reg Caldecott)

Pretoria giant Orazio Cremona says he is starting to recover from a groin injury that prevented him from reaching his best form in the early stages of the international season.
Cremona won the national shot put title in Stellenbosch in April with a distance of 20.49m, just 14cm short of his personal best, but since then he has been unable to throw further than 20 metres.
“I was slightly stiff from the long travel when I competed at the World Challenge meeting in Beijing (in May) and I think that was where my problems started,” the Tuks/HPC athlete said on Thursday.
“In New York (at the Diamond League meeting last month) I could feel that something was seriously wrong so I went to a physiotherapist who managed to loosen me up.
“In hindsight it seems to have been a mistake because when I started competing I aggravated my injury by doing too much.
“I could not reach my maximum throwing potential because I experienced what felt like little stabs in my glut muscles and groin.”
Cremona admitted he was frustrated by the situation, in the build-up to next month’s World Championships, but he was relieved to be improving.
“Luckily it gets better every week. Last week I was only able to do about 10 full throws while training, but this week I have done 20 full throws already.
“I am still not throwing the distances I would like, but at least I am beginning to find my rhythm again.”
The 26-year-old African champion confirmed he would not compete again ahead of the global spectacle in Beijing, in order to focus on his main goal of the season.
“The fact that I have not competed a lot should not to be a problem… I am a better competitor at championship level, especially if I am free from health problems and able to move freely in the circle,” he said.
“The important thing for me is to stay patient. There are still more than 50 days to go before the World Championships, so I just need to keep my head down and stay focussed.”