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Walcott’s spear sails 85.28m into finals
Keshorn Walcott was in no playing mood yesterday, storming into the final of the men’s javelin event with a record-breaking toss of 85.28 metres at Hampden Park Stadium here in Glasgow, Scotland. “I’m feeling great. I haven’t felt like this since my junior year so this competition I’m looking forward to the finals.”
It was his second attempt that broke his own national record of 84.58m, which he set in winning gold at the London Olympics in 2012. He raced over to his coach Ishmael Lopez Mastrapa to celebrate when his distance appeared on the monitor, signalling that he had qualified for the medal round.
An announcement followed thereafter over the intercom and he packed up and left the other competitors still battling to reach the automatic qualifying mark of 78.00 m to get into the finals. Walcott insisted that his training programme and the support of his coaching staff is the reason for his progress thus far.
“Training has been going really good. You are seeing the results. Thanks to my coach and physio. They stuck behind me through this stressful year but I’m seeing good results tonight and I’m thankful,” said the 21-year-old, grinning uncontrollably. “Hopefully I can get a personal best again.” As to whether he feels he has intimidated his fellow competitors, his response was “Hell Yeah.”
Relay men clock fastest
A few minutes earlier, T&T men’s relay team, qualified also for the 4x100m final. Keston Bledman ran the first leg, handing off to Marc Burns then on to Rondell Sorrillo, with Richard Thompson anchoring, to clock 38.33 seconds, the fastest qualifying time.
Jamaican anchored by sprint star Usain Bolt topped the second heat in 38.99, just ahead of Nigeria (39.11). The other finalists are England, winner of the third heat in 38.78, Canada (38.41), Bahamas (38.52), who broke its national record, South Africa (38.91) and Antigua & Barbuda (39.48), another team to break its national record. Earlier, the women’s 4x100m team as well as both the men’s and women’s 4x400m advanced to the final in their respective heats. The women’s 4x100 team of Deborah John, Reyare Thomas, Lisa Wickham and Kamaria Durant sneaked into the final placing third in the heat one in 44.47.
Winning was Nigeria in 44.13 and second was Australia in 44.45. Also in are the Jamaicans, who dominated their heat equalling the Games record of 42.44, England (43.33), Canada, (43.66), Bahamas (44.50) and India (44.81). It was the team of Lalonde Gordon, Jarrin Solomon, Jehue Gordon and Zwede Hewitt putting T&T into the final of the men’s 4x400m. The quartet won the second heat in 3:04.06.
Led off by Commonwealth bronze medallist Lalonde, T&T established a lead in the first leg. He handed over to Solomon, who then dished off to silver medallist Jehue, who preserved the before making the final pass to Hewitt. It was all but over as Hewitt sprinted away, to seal a spot in the medal race today. The other finalists are Olympic champion Bahamas, who comfortably won the opening heat in 3:03.07, England (3:03.1), Jamaica (3:03.47), Scotland (3:03.94), Australia (3:05.41), Nigeria (3:06.66) and Zambia (3:07.43).
The women’s team of Shawna Fermin, Domonique Williams, Janeil Bellille and Romona Modeste placed third in 3.33.26 in the first of two heats, to automatically qualify for final. Jamaica went on to win the heat in 3:28.29 with the Australians second in 3:32.40.
England won the second heat in 3:27.88 to advance with second place Nigeria (3:28.28) and Canada (3:31.02).
The other finalists are Bahamas (3:31.91) and India (3:33.67), who qualified as the two fastest losers.
In the final event of the evening, Josanne Lucas placed seventh in the women’s 100m hurdles final, clocking 13.48. Defending champion Sally Pearson (12.67) of Australia took gold while England’s Tiffany Porter (12.80) and Canadian Angela Whyte (13.02) picked up silver and bronze, respectively.
Boxer Michael Alexander had to settle for the bronze after losing to Joe Fitzgerald of Northern Ireland in their semifinal bout in the lightweight (60 kg) category by a unanimous decision. Alexander fought well but it was the Irish boxer getting the nod from the judges in the three rounds. Alexander’s medal made it five for T&T. He joins silver medallists shot putter Cleopatra Borel and 400m hurdler Jehue Gordon as well as triple jumper Ayanna Alexander and quartermiler Lalonde Gordon, who each bagged bronze.
T&T’s hockey men’s team suffered a 2-0 loss to Wales at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, to end in 10th spot. The local stickmen held Wales goalless for the first session to go in 0-0 at the half. T&T withstood the Welsh players attack well in the second half until Lewis Prosser managed to slip one past keeper Andrey Rocke in the 53rd minute. Two minutes later, it was Gareth Furlong getting his name on the scoresheet, to hand Wales a 2-0 advantage which they held on to till the end.