TOP QUALIFIER: Keshorn Walcott

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Walcott goes for gold

By Kwame Laurence in Glasgow

Keshorn Walcott was in record-breaking mood in the Commonwealth Games men’s javelin qualifying event, at Hampden Park, here in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.

Walcott established a new Trinidad and Tobago standard with his very first throw, the 21-year-old athlete landing the spear 85.28 metres to remove his own 84.58m mark from the books. The previous record was established in London, England, two years ago, earning Walcott Olympic gold.

Today, the Toco thrower bids for another major title.

“I’m feeling great,” an extremely satisfied Walcott told the Express. “I haven’t felt like this since my junior years, so I’m looking forward to the final.”

Walcott led all qualifiers into today’s 12-man final, and is the favourite for gold. He will throw second, after Kenya’s Julius Yego,  the man with the second best throw in the qualifying event—82.83m. There were no other 80+ distances yesterday.

Walcott has had mixed results this season, throwing beyond the 80-metre mark in three of his six pre-Commonwealth competitions.

“I’ve been training hard this year. I’ve been dedicated to my training, and I have seen the results. It’s all thanks to my coach (Ismael Lopez Mastrapa) and my physio because this year has been stressful and they told me just stick with it, and you see the results. I’m thankful.”

Before the Commonwealth Games, Walcott’s best effort this season was 83.94m. With the 85.28m record-breaking throw, he jumped from 17th to 10th on the 2014 world performance list.

“I knew I was going to throw big here. I wasn’t expecting it in qualification, so it was a bit of a surprise.”

With the qualifying event behind him, Walcott is now focused on the final.

“Hopefully I can get a personal best again.”

If Walcott does re-set his national record today, another golden celebration could be in the offing.

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