Sunday, August 12, 2012

The youngest ever Olympic javelin champion

Trinidad's Keshorn Walcott completed a remarkable double by taking a surprise Olympic javelin gold less than a month after becoming world junior champion.

Teen sensation: Gold medalist Keshorn Walcott
Teen sensation: Gold medalist Keshorn Walcott
At Saturday night's extraordinary competition in the Olympic Stadium saw Keshorn Walcott win gold with a throw of 84.58 metres.

In winning the title Keshorn became only the second non-European to take the crown in 100 years of the Olympic Games, the last being an American back at the 1952 Helsinki Games.

He took the lead in the first round with a healthy opener of 83.51 metres and increased it in the second round with 84.58 metres which proved to be enough to win on the night, despite the Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnytsya third effort of 84.51 metres with Finn Antti Ruuskanen back in third after a throw of 84.12m.
Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago
There had looked to be plenty of potential winners in the field, including defending Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen from Norway and the Czech Republic's Vitezslav Vesely, who threw 88.34 metres in the qualifying rounds and is coached by three-time Olympic champion Jan Zelezny.

However, Thorkildsen could only manage sixth as Keshorn, just 19, and winner of the world junior title earlier this summer, proved too strong on the night and as a result may just have provided another sporting option for the children of Trinidad.

'I just went out there to relax and enjoy it and it worked for me,' said Walcott, after his second-round effort was good enough for gold.

'It means everything to me. I just train my hardest and try to enjoy every time I come out.'

Keshorn was exultant, T&T's second Olympic gold medallist racing over to his coach, Cuban Ismael Lopez for a tight hug. The celebration had begun.

"I want to thank my mom for believing in me throughout; my coach who has been guiding me, doing a great job. And thanks to the entire country for believing in me and supporting me."

Keshorn’s mother Beverly was overjoyed at her son’s historic performance yesterday, saying jokingly that she was lucky she did not have a heart attack after watching him capture this country’s second gold medal ever at the Olympics. She said, however, she had expected him to get into the final eight. “I always expected him to get into the top eight and anything extra is a plus.” 

“He proved himself, as some did not believe in him. As I looked at him after the win, he remained humble,” she said.

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