Keshorn Walcott on Worlds exit: I will return stronger

Trinidad and Tobago's Keshorn Walcott -
Trinidad and Tobago's Keshorn Walcott -

The TT contingent had a rough day at the office at the World Athletic Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Friday, as medal hopeful and javelin ace Keshorn Walcott pulled out of his event through injury, while both the men’s and women’s 4x100m relay teams were eliminated in their semifinal heats.

Walcott, a two-time Olympic medallist, had made it his mission to medal at these games as he chased an elusive World Champs podium finish.

“I don’t know why it’s been eluding me. Maybe I want it too much. But it’s still my main objective and it’s all that I think about now in the sport, getting a Worlds medal,” Walcott told Newsday last month, as he looked forward to the ongoing games.

However, the 30-year-old was unable to participate in the javelin qualifying event on Friday, as he sustained a rupture of his Achilles during his warm-up.

On Friday, Walcott took to Instagram to share the details of his injury and his shattering experience, stating: “This morning, while warming up for the qualification, I felt a pop in my Achilles and knew in an instant that my hopes of achieving my dream had been dashed once again.”

“I had endured, persevered, and prepared myself for this challenge for the entire year. Only to have it all vanish in a mere five seconds,” Walcott said.

“Am I devastated? Absolutely. Am I shaken? Not at all!” Walcott said. “The fire in me still burns and I will do whatever it takes to get healthy and continue pursuing my goals.”

The London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, who came into these on the back of a season’s best throw of 85.85 metres at the Kuortane Games in June, thanked Dr Ottley Margaret, the professor of sport and exercise psychology at West Chester University (WCU), for her steadying work throughout the season.

“I am deeply grateful to all those in my corner, (and I must) express my special gratitude to Dr Margaret Ottley,” Walcott said. “By the grace of God, I will return stronger than ever and show the world that I am a champion.”

Years on from his gold-medal clinching throw of 84.58 metres at the London Olympic Stadium,” the journey continues for Walcott.

“After ten years of relentless striving to acquire my first world championship medal, I must now add another year to my journey.”

Meantime, Grenada’s Anderson Peters, who was the two-time defending champion in the javelin event coming into these games, did not qualify for Sunday’s final as his throw of 78.49 metres placed him 16th overall.

India’s Neeraj Chopra, the men’s javelin champ from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, had the best throw in the qualifying round on Friday with a distance of 88.77 metres.

On the track, TT’s men’s and women’s teams failed to make the respective 4x100m finals, as they both finished fifth in their semifinal heats and were also positioned outside of the non-automatic spots.

Running in semifinal one, TT’s men’s quartet of Omari Lewis, Jerod Elcock, Revell Webster and Devin Augustine crossed the line in a time of 38.89 seconds in a race where their baton passing left a lot to be desired. USA won the first semi in a time of 37.67 seconds, closely followed by Jamaica (37.68 seconds) and Japan (37.71 seconds).

France finished fourth in the first men’s semi in a time of 37.98 seconds and advanced to the final as one of the two non-automatic qualifiers. TT’s men’s quartet wasn’t so fortunate though, as their time of 38.89 seconds was easily eclipsed by Brazil (38.19 seconds) who advanced from semifinal two as the other non-automatic qualifier.

Italy, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic champs, progressed from semifinal two with a world-leading time of 37.65 seconds.

TT women’s quartet of Akilah Lewis, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Reyare Thomas and Leah Bertrand finished the first of two semifinal heats in a time of 42.85 seconds and suffered a similar fate to the men’s team in their quest to progress as one of two non-automatic qualifiers.

Strengthened by the presence of the superstar pair of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Jamaican quartet torched the track in semifinal one in a season-best time of 41.70 seconds. Great Britain (42.33 seconds) finished second, followed by Switzerland (42.64 seconds) in third.

With newly-minted 200m world champ Shericka Jackson still to be added to their relay lineup for Saturday’s finale, the Jamaican “Reggae Girlz” can be expected to put on quite the show in Budapest.

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"Keshorn Walcott on Worlds exit: I will return stronger"

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