Keshorn Walcott left it for late, but qualified for the Men’s Javelin final at the Olympic Games, with his last toss of 81.75 metres in the qualification round at the Olympic Stadium, yesterday in London, England. The debutant kept his nerves despite not getting the start desired and placed 10th in the competition which saw 44 throwers battling for a spot in the final scheduled for Saturday from 2.20 pm. In his first attempt, the world junior champion reached 78.91. He followed that up with an unimpressive 76.44. “I didn’t do what I came out to do. The distance wasn’t my best, hopefully when it comes back to the final I will get a better throw,” said, the soft-spoken Walcott. He admitted that the entire Olympic experience may have distracted him somewhat, diverting him away from his strategy for the opening round. “I was a bit anxious and a bit nervous so I was just a little off, but things worked out for the better, so I will come back and hopefully do better.
Now that he has got past one hurdle, he feels more comfortable and is set for a much improved showing the medal round. “The qualification is always the hardest part. In the final I will just be at ease because I’ve already accomplished what I wanted to do. “I’ve come in here with nothing to lose, everything to gain.” Walcott will definitely have some work to do over the next two days as he will go up against the likes of Czech Republic Vitezslav, who qualified on top, with a personal best throw of 88.34 followed by Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen (84.47) and Tero Pitkamaki (83-01). Walcotts best throw this season is 82.83, also his personal best. Sprinter Semoy Hackett placed eighth in the women’s 200m final event. Hackett finished in 22.87 seconds, a slower time compared to her run the previous night when she equalled her own national record time of 22.55. As in the night before, Hackett seemed to be in some discomfort after the race. She will have to bounce back quickly though as the 4x100 heats come off today from 3.20 pm (T&T time).
American Allyson Felix, runner-up in Athens and Beijing to Jamaica's Veronica Campbell-Brown, finally got the gold medal, overcoming a sluggish start to lead, coming off the bend and complete a relatively easy win. The 26-year-old clocked a time of 21.88 to finish 0.21 ahead of 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. USA's Carmelita Jeter - silver medallist over 100m - took bronze, with Campbell-Brown fourth and failing in her bid to become the first woman to win a track event for three Olympics in succession. Wayne Davis bowed out in the semifinal round of the Men’s 110m heat after placing sixth in a time of 13.49. Davis remained upbeat despite not progressing, accepting his first Olympics as a learning experience. “It didn’t go as I would have liked. I hit the first hurdle and from there it killed my momentum. I had to go back to scratch. My start was amazing. I was in front of everybody. “Next time what I need to do, is harness that, cut down a little bit more and once I do, it will keep me in the lead in the race,” said Davis. “So that’s something I will be working on next year.”
Davis added that he enjoyed his debut, noting the it was a great opportunity racing against athletes whom he’d watched on film for a number of years. “It’s an eye-opener and I finally saw myself as one of these top guys. This is the biggest stage I could be on and I was like wow, I’m actually here.” This is the end of his season and the 20-year-old is already making plans for the future, recognising that he has work to do if he is to compete at the next Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2016. “I am going to regroup, go back to basic training and get ready for Rio,” shared Davis. Later, American Aries Merritt took gold in the final, running a personal best of 12.92. The final favourite, Jason Richardson, another US athlete, finished with the silver medal in 13.04, and Jamaican Hansle Parchment bagged the bronze with a new national record of 13.12.
By Rachael Thompson-King