KESHORN Walcott will begin his quest to become the first athlete from Trinidad and Tobago to earn at least one medal in three consecutive Olympic Games when he lines up in the qualification round of the men’s javelin event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, on Tuesday night (TT time).
Walcott will either compete in Group A from 8.05 pm or Group B from 9.35 pm.
Walcott, 28, shocked the world when he won gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games when he was 19 years of age. A throw of 84.58 metres, a national record at the time, saw him grab the top spot on the podium.
Four years later he earned TT’s only medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games when he finished third in the event.
On that occasion, Walcott threw the spear 85.38m. Finishing ahead of Walcott were German Thomas Rohler (90.30m) and Kenyan Julius Yego (88.24m).
TT have had a few athletes medalling at back-to-back Olympics Games, but never an athlete to achieve the milestone at three straight.
Weightlifter Rodney Wilkes earned a silver medal at the 1948 London Games then took bronze at the 1952 Helsinki Games.
At the 1996 Atlanta Games, TT sprinter Ato Boldon snatched bronze medals in both the men’s 100m and 200m events. Four years later at the 2000 Sydney Games he copped a silver medal in the 100m event and bronze in the 200m event.
It was then Richard Thompson’s turn to earn medals at back-to-back Olympics. At the 2008 Beijing Games, Thompson grabbed silver behind Jamaican legend Usain Bolt in the men’s 100m and was part of the TT men’s 4x100m team to win gold. At the 2012 London Games, Thompson was again part of the quartet to take silver in the 4x100m event.
Walcott has been in creditable form in 2021 as he has been consistently delivering with performances that have landed him on the podium.
A month ago, Walcott recorded his best throw of the season with an effort of 89.12m at the Kuortane Games in Finland on June 26. It earned him a silver medal.
Another strong showing by Walcott came days later at the Spitzen Leichtathletik in Luzern, Switzerland on June 29.
Walcott’s throw of 85.16m landed him another silver medal.
The Kourtane Games and the Spitzen Leichtathletik meets were key in Walcott’s preparation due to the fact those meets were three days apart.
Walcott’s Olympic competition will follow a similar pattern to those meets in June because after he competes on Tuesday he will line up again on Saturday at 7 am (TT time) if he qualifies for the final.
His third best throw of the season also came in June when he copped a silver medal with an 82.84m throw at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland on June 8.
German Johannes Vetter is the favourite going into the event as he is the only athlete to throw over 90m this season. The German has thrown over 90m on seven occasions with his best throw a 96.29m effort.
Marcin Krukowski of Poland is the second best men’s javelin athlete in 2021 with an 89.55m throw and Walcott is ranked third with his 89.12m effort at the Kourtane Games.