TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO’S Keshorn Walcott stunned spectators at the IAAF Diamond League Meet in Rome yesterday, throwing the spear a fantastic 86.20 metres to snatch bronze in the Men’s Javelin event and smashing his own national record in the process.
The 2012 Olympic champion left it very late; in fact, it was his sixth and final throw that got him among the medals. In his first five attempts, Walcott had recorded distances of 79.52, 80.59, 78.77, 76.76 and 81.62, and seemed likely to finish out of the top three. However, the Toco-born athlete got everything right in his final throw, eclipsing his previous national mark of 85.77, set last year in Zurich.
The winner, Vitezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic had a best throw of 88.14, while Kenya’s Julius Yego (87.71) took the silver medal. Walcott’s effort on Thursday took him into fifth in the Diamond Ranking for 2015 with just one point; Vesely leads with five points.
Following his performance, the National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad & Tobago (NAAA) issued a public congratulation to Keshorn on his achievement.
TT’s other athlete in Rome, Jehue Gordon, did not fare nearly as well. The World Champion, who fell and did not finish at the Prefontaine Classic last weekend, finished seventh yesterday from a field of nine in the 400 metre hurdles, clocking in 49.22 seconds; it was his fastest time for the year. American Johnny Dutch took the gold, as he did in Prefontaine, finishing slightly faster this time in 48.13.
Meanwhile, US sprinter Justin Gatlin maintained his run of form, taking the men’s 100 in 9.75; Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut was adjudged second after clocking the identical 9.98 as American Michael Rodgers. Jamaican Nesta Carter (10.06) finished fourth.