Keshorn rose to the occasion
I have read several stories in the international press that describe Keshorn Walcott's Olympic performance as mediocre. This is far from the truth.
Walcott won the gold medal and he was the best on the day. That is all he needed to do. It is quite obvious after his two victories at the 2012 World Juniors and at the Olympics — this young man rose to the occasion.
That being said, his winning performance was far from ordinary. The young Trinidadian athlete threw the javelin 84.58 metres to win the gold. If we take Walcott's winning throw and compare it to how the top javelin throwers performed in the Diamond League events, he compares quite favourably. The Diamond League is the pinnacle of athletic achievement (cynics argue that athletes win gold medals to earn more money on the Diamond League circuit). So athletes go flat out at these Diamond League events in order to earn a living.
The javelin was contested in five Diamond League meets...I attended two — in Eugene and Paris.
1. 85.4m 2. 81.62m 3. 80.91m
1. 84.65m (a meet record)
2. 83.18m 3. 82.23m
1. 85.67m 2. 83.93m 3. 83.70m
(a season's best by #3)
1. 88.11m 2. 83.82m 3. 82.30m
1. 86.98m 2. 83.74m 3. 81.23m
Note that these throws for top places are the best of a series. For instance, in Oslo, the winner, Vitezslav Vesely (CZE) threw 83.2m; 79.1m; 81.4m...these throws over 85m are exceptions and are thrown when conditions are perfect.
Not many athletes achieve this mark on a regular basis. Only seven men have thrown more than 85 metres in the javelin thus far in 2012. Two of them have done it more than once...Vesely and Oleksandr Pyatnytsya (Ukraine). These men are exceptional, and so are throws at distances greater than 85 metres.
So on the day of the Olympic javelin final, the athletes performed at their best, but they were not exceptional. Walcott was exceptional. The Olympic javelin final was not a mediocre event with middling results. If so, all of the Diamond League events have been mediocre thus far with two exceptional performances (88.11m and 86.98m)
We must also note there have been a few season's bests and personal bests in these Diamond League javelin results.
Some track and field fans (and casual fans) have been a bit too quick to rate this young man's performance as average and claim that he was lucky.
He has two throws over 82m in 2012. All he needs to do is to throw like that on any given day and he could be in the top three on a regular basis in the Diamond League. His winning effort in the Olympics would have placed him second in every Diamond League meet thus far in 2012.
Currently, Keshorn Walcott is one of the best in the world; further, if he were a US citizen, he would be the best in the USA! Top throws this year in the US – 82.73m and 82.31m.
To those who believe that Walcott was lucky, check the stats. He wasn't lucky, he was great! Give the young man his due!