KESHORN Walcott thrilled an appreciative crowd at the National Gas Company (NGC) National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) Open Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, on Saturday.
The crowd came to life during the men’s javelin event with the two-time Olympic medallist in action.
Walcott recorded a top effort of 85.17 metres in his fifth attempt to easily defeat the rest of the field. Walcott, who qualified for the 2022 World Championships earlier this season, threw over the World Championship standard again of 85.00m.
Anthony Diaz of Point Fortin New Jets was second with a 69.30m throw and Nathaniel Mathura was third with a 64.52m performance.
National men’s long jump record holder Andwuelle Wright was another athlete who entertained with a quality showing.
Wright was short of the World Championships standard of 8.22m, but easily achieved the Commonwealth Games mark of 7.76m.
Wright of Kaizen Panthers jumped 8.08m on his second attempt which was enough to secure him the gold medal.
Wright may still be chosen to compete at the World Championships despite falling short of the standard.
He was pleased with his effort.
“I felt extremely pleased with my performance," he said. "It has been a long and trying season for me this year and, last year coming back from injury and then for Olympics I got covid…mentally it was tough so, to come up in the eight-metre class, is amazing and I feel tremendously proud.”
World Championships will be held in Oregon, United States from July 15-24, followed by Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England from July 28-August 8.
“Most definitely I want to be on the (World Championship) team but, if not, we have Commonwealth and NACAC Games coming up.”
Wright was elated to compete at home again as there have been limited meets over the last two years because of covid19.
Kyle Singuineau of Abilene Wildcats was second (6.86m) and Lorenzo Luces of Toco Tafac was third (6.76m).
In the men’s 100m final, Eric Harrison of Abilene Wildcats won in 10.08. Harrison, who is eligible to run for TT because of his Trinidadian mother, was glad to run in TT.
“It was actually pretty crazy. The atmosphere is different from anything in the US, just all the hype leading up to the event. I had not experienced anything like that before. That was pretty cool.”
Kion Benjamin of Memphis Pioneers was second in 10.18 and Jerod Elcock was third in 10.19. Harrison just missed the World Championship standard of 10.05, but earned the Commonwealth Games standard along with Benjamin and Elcock.
In the women’s 100m final, Leah Bertrand won in 11.38.
Khalifa St Fort was second in 11.39 and Iantha Wright was third in 11.45.
The trio fell short of the World Championship standard of 11.15, but St Fort and Bertrand made the Commonwealth Games standard.
Bertrand said, “It was enjoyable. I was not really expecting it, but at the same time I felt good going in to the race.”
Michelle-Lee Ahye earned the World Championship standard in the preliminaries and did not run in the final. She clocked 11.06.
Winning the 400m titles were Rae-Ann Serville (54.69) and Dwight St Hillaire (45.46).