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Walcott looking forward to 2013 Worlds

By Ian Prescott ian.prescott@trinidadexpress.com

THE other members of Trinidad and Tobago's 2012 Olympics team will be rewarded on Thursday September 13.

Yesterday, Sport Minister Anil Roberts confirmed that the other T&T Olympians have not been forgotten and that their reward for good performances at the London Games four weeks ago is coming.

"All of them were not able to come for Independence Day celebrations. So we have put it for September 13 at the Diplomatic Centre (in St Ann's)," Roberts said. "Invitation have already been sent out to the President to attend the event as well."

Trinidad and Tobago brought home a best-ever haul of four medals from the 2012 Olympics.

Nineteen-year-old javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott was the most successful when he picked up T&T's first gold medal in 36 years, since Hasely Crawford won the 100-metre event at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

There were also bronze medal performances by quarter-miler Lalonde Gordon; the 4x400m men's relay team of Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Ade Alleyne-Forte and Deon Lendore; and also the 4x100m men's relay team of Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Richard Thompson.

Cyclist Njisane Phillip reached the semi-finals of the match sprint; swimmer George Bovell was a finalist in the 50-metre freestyle; and Jehue Gordon (400m hurdles), Richard Thompson (100m), Kelly-Ann Baptiste (100m) and Semoy Hackett (200m) also reached the finals of their respective events.

On returning home, gold medallist Walcott was given a million-dollar grant and a house in Federation Park among his rewards from Government, while the gifts to the other athletes were to be announced at a later date.

Tobago-born athletes were also rewarded by the Tobago House of Assembly.

Roberts shed no light on what the other members of the team would get, but assured that their reward was coming on Thursday.

And Walcott is looking forward to the 14th World Championships in Athletics, to be held in 2013 in Moscow, Russia.

Interviewed on TV6's Morning Edition yesterday along with his manager Sean Roach, Walcott said that success at the World Championships will be his major goal.

As a junior athlete in 2012, Walcott won gold at the Carifta and Junior World Championships before causing a shocker at the Olympics.

Walcott will be having his first season as a senior athlete next year, but he feels confident that he can handle the pressure.

"It will be a great experience...my first World Championships will be a bit exciting," he said. "I am no longer a junior athlete so I have more time to prepare myself, both the mind and my physical self. Now, there are more expectations on my shoulders, so I have to work much harder going into the competitions that are to come.

"This (Olympic gold) was not really planned. What was planned was (winning) World Juniors. Going to the Olympics and winning the gold medal was a surprise to everyone, so we will just keep working and keep going," said Walcott.

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