JUST ONE throw. That's all it took for Trinidad and Tobago's Keshorn Walcott to break the jinx that had seen him eliminated in the men's javelin qualifying round in his two previous IAAF World Championship outings.
Walcott landed the spear 86.01 metres at the London Stadium here in London, England, yesterday, to finish second in Group “B” and third overall. Germany's Johannes Vetter threw a massive 91.20m to lead all qualifiers into tomorrow's final.
In a high-quality competition, 13 men bettered the 83.00m automatic qualifying distance. Among them were Kenya's defending world champion Julius Yego (83.57m) and Germany's 2016 Olympic gold med-allist Thomas Rohler (83.87m).
Five years ago, Walcott captured Olympic gold at the London Games. He returned to the stadium of his greatest triumph in style, securing a spot in the World Champs final with his very first throw. The 24-year-old field athlete told the Express the big 86.01m effort did not surprise him.
“From my last competition, I knew I could expect something good. I just wanted to be over the 83-metre mark. As you know, it has been bad for me at the World Championships in the past, so that was in the back of my mind.
“This is the one I'm missing, so getting to the World Champs final is a big achievement for me.”
Semoy Hackett bowed out of the women's 200m event at the semi-final stage, the T&T sprinter finishing seventh in heat two in 23.54 seconds.
'It's tough out there'
“It's tough out there,” Hackett told the Express, “knowing everyone came prepared for this meet, while we have to work with the situation we have. I'm just happy that I made it injury-free.
“No support,” she continued, “is the number one problem. Competing with these girls who have every access available to them, it's hard to perform. And we can't blame the Government.
“Everyone in Trinidad and Tobago has to help the athletes, not just the Government.
“It's the NAAA (National Association of Athletics Administrations), the citizens, the parents. Everybody has to work together to help the athletes and help better Trinidad and Tobago. It's not just a Government problem.”
Deborah John is the lone T&T athlete on show today. At 6.17 a.m. (T&T time), John faces the starter in the fifth and final women's 100m hurdles first round heat. The semis will be contested from 2.05 p.m.