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Walcott sixth in Shanghai
T&T’s London Olympics Games javelin gold medallist, Keshorn Walcott ended in sixth spot for the second straight week, this time at the Samsung Diamond League Meet held at the Shanghai Stadium, China, yesterday. Walcott, who was also sixth in Doha, last week in his first Diamond event with a throw of 79.79 metres, only mustered a distance of 79.92 metres this time around to finish in sixth spot among an 11-man field, one spot ahead of African champion, Kenya’s Julius Yego (78.23), who was also a London finalist.
An 87.60m world lead throw took 2007 World champion Tero Pitkamaki of Finland to a narrow victory in the men’s Javelin. The Finn had previously held the world lead at 86.40m.
Second-placed Vitezslav Vesely of Czech Republic, last year’s winner threw 86.67m to also better the previous world lead while Russia’s Dmitriy Tarabin threw 85.36m for third ahead of Finland’s Ari Mannio (83.43) and China’s Quinggang Zhao (81.18) while Walcott’s Olympic predecessor in 2004 and 2008, Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen, failed to register a valid throw.
The meet in Shanghai was the third outing for Walcott so far this season after he began his season with an impressive 84.39 throw at the T&T Elite Twilight Games which was held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo on May 3.
T&T’s Lalonde Gordon also did not get among the medals after a fifth place finish in a highly competitive men’s 400m final won by Grenada’s Olympic and World champion, Kirani James,
For the first time since his win in London last August, James faced fellow London 400m men’s medallists, Luguelin Santos of Dominican Republic and T&T’s Gordon, as well as former World and Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt. And the young Grenadian, after making up the stagger on Merritt as they came onto the final bend and briefly running in step pulled away to win in 44.02 ahead Merritt (44.60), Santos (45.11), Belgium’s Jonathan Borlee (45.57) and Gordon (46.39). James’s time equalled the meet record set by Jeremy Wariner in 2007 and is the fastest ever 400m time witnessed at a Diamond League meeting.
James is the only non-US athlete to have broken 44 seconds for 400m and he has started 2013 in the same manner he finished the Olympic year. In the women’s Shot Put, T&T’s Cleopatra Borel failed to register a valid throw in the event won by Germany’s Christina Schwanitz, who wasted no time in setting down new markers. With her first throw, the 27-year-old German landed the shot at a personal best 19.76m, with her second she cracked the 20m mark with 20.12m and with her fifth she was again in new territory with 20.20m. Three personal bests for the competition and a final mark close enough to Valerie Adams’ world lead 20.37m—it may be a little premature to suggest Schwanitz can challenge the indomitable Adams, but she certainly has shaken up the world order. Second was Lijiao Gong of China with a throw of 19.73 metres while USA’s Michelle Carter grabbed bronze witha throw of 18.83.