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KESHORN SOARS

Olympic gold medallist wins Express Individual of The Year award

By Mark Pouchet

Keshorn Walcott is this year's Trinidad Express Newspapers Individual of the Year.

Walcott's phenomenal 2012 was highlighted by his history-creating performance during the London Olympics back in August where he won gold in the Men's Javelin event.

In keeping with the criteria for this award, Walcott is the individual whose achievement in 2012 is most deserving of the highest commendation of excellence. Express readers were asked to submit nominees for this award.

His 84.58-metre hurl made him the second Trinbagonian to win an Olympic gold, 36 years after sprinter Hasely Crawford won this country's first in the Men's 100-metre final at the 1976 Montreal Olympiad.

He was also the second from the Western Hemisphere and the second non-European to win the event in the 116-year history of the Olympics.

"I am and very honoured and thankful to everyone for receiving this award," Walcott said when contacted by phone yesterday.

The Government heaped rewards on the young sportsman, who hails from the small village of Trois Roches in Toco, including $1 million in cash, a home in Federation Park valued at $2.5 million; the Keshorn Walcott Housing Development to be completed on 20,000 square feet in Toco; the Keshorn Walcott Lighthouse in Toco; a Caribbean Airlines aircraft to be named after Walcott; and a scholarship to the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

But Walcott also had some other top-notch performances during 2012.

In July, he successfully defended his Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Championship gold medal with his championship record-breaking 82.83 metres throw in the Men's under-20 javelin.

Prior to the Olympics, the 19-year-old claimed gold at the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

In April at the Carifta Championships in Bermuda, Walcott also gained gold in the Senior Men's u-20 division, completing a hat-trick of victories in the javelin started in 2010 and his fourth overall Carifta title.

Besides the Trinidad Express award, Walcott received major accolades for his 2012 achievements from the Ministry of Sport and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).

The Toco-born athlete took away the lion's share of awards at the Ministry of Sport's gala event, the Spirit of Sport Award (SOSA) at the Queen's Hall last Friday, copping the Male Athlete of the Year, Sport Performance of the Year, Breakthrough Athlete of the Year and Consistent Performer of the Year.

The following day at the TTOC's 18th Annual Awards Ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain, Walcott was named the Junior Sportsman of the Year and the Sportsman of the Year. TTOC officials also gifted Walcott with the javelin he used on his way to his historic throw and achievement.

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