Javelin ace Keshorn Walcott seals Olympic spot

Double Olympic-medallist javelin star Keshorn Walcott. - AP PHOTO
Double Olympic-medallist javelin star Keshorn Walcott. - AP PHOTO

TWO-TIME TT Olympic medallist Keshorn Walcott has confirmed a spot in the men’s javelin event for the 2024 Paris Games.

Despite Walcott being unable to match or surpass the 85.50m Olympic standard over the July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024 qualifying period – of which only 11 athletes achieved – he was first (12th overall) to qualify by virtue of his world rankings with a score of 1,266. He’s ranked sixth in the world.

Altogether, 32 field athletes gained men’s javelin qualification.

Paris will be Walcott’s fourth stint at the quadrennial event having won a historic gold medal on debut in London 2012, bronze in Brazil four years later and then finishing in tough 16th at the Tokyo edition in 2021.

After World Athletics confirmed his Olympic qualification ranking on July 2, Walcott’s place in Paris was sealed.

“This journey to qualify for the Paris Olympic has undoubtedly been my most challenging yet, but I am filled with gratitude as I can proudly declare that I have secured my place in the Games,” Walcott posted to his Instagram page on July 2.

“After facing significant injury last year, I felt lost and unsure of where to even start on this path (Olympic qualification), but I am reminded of God’s goodness as I write this today.”

During a warm-up routine at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Hungary in August 2023, the multiple national champion ruptured his Achilles tendon and was ruled out of competing. He did surgery and took about ten months to recover and return to the competitive circuit.

“I want to extend my deepest thanks to all those who have supported me throughout this particular journey. As we look ahead, we are committed to continuing our pursuit of achieving the rest of our goals with unwavering determination,” he added.

Since his return to the circuit one month ago, Walcott has competed at four meets chasing Paris qualification. At three events in Finland between June 6-22, he won gold (81.11m), placed sixth (81.93m) and bagged another gold (84.89m).

His final Olympic qualifier meet was at the NGC/Republic Bank National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAATT) National Championships on June 29, where he landed the spear at 85.22m; just short of the Olympic standard.

The top three Olympic qualifiers, who achieved the standard, were German World and U20 Championships silver medallist Max Dehning, who dazzled with a 90.20m throw in February; Indian reigning Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra, who blasted 88.88m in October last year and 2024 European Championships runner-up Julian Weber of Germany, who launched the spear 88.72m in July 2023.

Additionally, TT sprinters Michelle-Lee Ahye and Leah Bertrand and shot-putter Portious Warren have fallen within the quota set for their respective Olympic events by virtue of ranking.

Neither Ahye nor Bertrand made the Olympic women’s 100m standard of 11.07s but fell within the top 56 qualifying athletes.

Ahye, after the July 2 rankings, was ranked 37th while Bertrand squeezed in at 54th. Ahye has competed as the last three Olympic Games with her best 100m performance, sixth, coming in 2012.

Similarly, Warren, who made her Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games, can be selected to represent TT, since she was ranked 31 among the 32 Olympic qualifiers.

So far, TT’s Jereem Richards (400m), the men’s 4x400m relay team and women’s 4x100m relay teams have already sealed their spots at this year’s Games.

And if any of the 16 already-qualified men’s 4x100m relay teams withdraw from competing in Paris, 17th ranked TT will be bumped up, and gain qualification.

The TT Olympic Committee is set to announce the nation’s final Olympic athlete contingent in the coming days.

The Games get underway from July 26 to August 11.


"Javelin ace Keshorn Walcott seals Olympic spot"

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