RUNNER-UP: Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago launches it in the men’s javelin final at Hampden Park Stadium during the Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday. —Photo: AP

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WALCOTT SEIZES SILVER

Eight medals for Team T&T

By Kwame Laurence in Glasgow

Keshorn Walcott captured the second major senior medal of his career when he seized silver in the Commonwealth Games men’s javelin event, at Hampden Park, here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.

Walcott’s best throw came in the sixth and final round as the Trinidad and Tobago athlete made a herculean effort to overhaul Julius Yego. But the 82.67 metres effort was short of Yego’s 83.87m third round throw, and Walcott finished in the runner-up position, behind the Kenyan. Australia’s Hamish Peacock (81.75m) bagged bronze.

Competing in cold and wet conditions, Walcott jumped to an early lead, landing the spear 82.13m in the first round. He followed up at 78.70m, before fouling his third attempt. Yego, meanwhile, produced his golden hurl in round three, and then passed on his last three attempts.

“It’s my second time throwing in conditions like that,” Walcott told the Express. “The result wasn’t the best, and as you see first place was only 83, so I think I could have done better.”

But the 21-year-old was grateful to secure a podium finish.

“This season, it’s been rough. Getting a silver medal is pretty good for me.”

Walcott is the first male T&T thrower in Commonwealth Games history to earn precious metal. He also had the distinction of producing the best throw here in Glasgow—the 85.28m national record in Friday’s qualifying event.

“Knowing that I threw my personal best yesterday (Friday), I put a lot of pressure on myself going into the competition. I always go into a competition wanting more. The first throw was pretty relaxed. After that I decided to go for it, and went a little too much.”

After winning the Olympic title in 2012, Walcott did not get to the final at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, and drew much criticism. He responded here in Glasgow with silver and a national record.

“I don’t really study the critics. Last year was rough--I had a lot of injuries. This year I had a lot of injuries, but I decided to take some time off because Commonwealth was the major competition. I got 90 per cent fit and I went out there and I did my best. At the end of the day I came out with the silver medal, so I’m thankful.”

Team T&T completed their Glasgow 2014 assignment with eight medals—the second biggest Commonwealth Games haul in the country’s history, and just one short of the nine medals earned by the famous 1966 team.

The final tally includes silver medals from Walcott, shot putter Cleopatra Borel and 400 metres hurdler Jehue Gordon, and five bronze medals—triple jumper Ayanna Alexander, quartermiler Lalonde Gordon, lightweight boxer Michael Alexander, and the men’s 4x100m and 4x400m teams.

 

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