Keshorn Walcott struck gold in the men’s javelin final at the 14th IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships at the Montjuic Stadium in Barcelona, Spain. The Toco thrower won with a last round effort of 78.64 metres, to secure this T&T’s first medal at the premier global junior meet. The World leader came from behind to take the gold from his main rival Braian Toledo of Argentina, who was second in 77.09m. Walcott started slowly and was fifth after the first round with 70.77m as Toledo grabbed the early lead with 73.45. The Argentine extended his lead with his second throw (77.09) as Walcott moved up to second with (77.03). The top did not change until the final round when the Rebirth athlete unleased his best throw of the competition, getting the spear out to 78.64, to give Toledo the silver with Morne Moolman of Germany placing third (76.29). Walcott came into the event as the favourite after his world leading throw of 80.11m which he set in May in Cuba.
The 19-year-old extended the mark to 82.83 at the CAC Junior Championships in El Salvador on July 8. Walcott’s gold puts T&T joint on 12th on the medal table with Belarus, Dominican Republic, New Zealand, Qatar, Spain, Sweden and Turks and Caicos. USA leads medal table with 13 medals (4, 4, 5) ahead Ethopia (2, 3, 0) and Kenya 7 (2, 2, 3). Walcott’s golden effort was the seventh for T&T at the biennial meet after Ato Boldon accomplishments in the men’s 100 and 200 in 1992, Darrel Brown in the men’s 100 in 2002, Renny Quow in the men’s 400m and Rhonda Watkins in the women’s long jump, both in 2006, and Jehue Gordon in the men’s 400m hurdles (2010). T&T’s overall medal tally in the history of the junior event, is now at 14 (7 gold, 2 bronze and 5 bronze) with two more days left in the championships. The local athletes are also at 24th on the points table with 12 points following Walcott’s win and Machel Cedenio fifth place finish in the men’s 400m finals on Thursday. Kernesha Spann failed in her quest to qualify for the women’s 400m hurdles finals. Spann was 21st overall clocking 1:00.63 seconds in finishing sixth in heat two as only the top eight advance to tomorrow’s finals.
Steve Waithe and Mark London also bowed out of action. Waithe was 23rd in the men’s triple jump qualification with a leap of 15.12m. Three-time Carifta champion, London, finished down the field in the men’s 800m preliminaries in 46th clocking 1:53.23 after crossing the line eighth in heat two. The men’s 4x100m team of Jesse Berkley, Jonathan Holder, Ashron Sobers and Jonathan Farinha clocked 40.01 in the semifinals, to finish 12th overall. The quartet, who was third in heat two behind the USA (39.25) and Bahamas (39.48), needed to finish in the top two to be assured of a spot in the final. Japan was the top qualifier(39.01) ahead of Great Britain (39.09) and Jamaica (39.19). Today the men’s 4x400m team will be in action looking for a place in tomorrow’s final on the last day of competition. At 1.35 pm (T&T time), the team of Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards, Brandon Benjamin, Asa Guevara and Ruebin Walters will start in semifinal three in lane 4 and will compete with Russia, Japan, Ghana, Germany, Norway and Finland and will be gunning for a top two spot to advance to the final set for 2.10 pm (T&T time).