Keshorn Walcott won gold on his last throw in the men’s javelin event at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Colombia, last night.
The 2012 Olympic champion and 2016 bronze medallist set the bar early, opening with an 81.78 metres-throw to fill the top spot. He fouled the second throw and sat out the next two rounds but was overtaken by Grenadian Anderson Peters after his fourth throw measured 81.80. After those four rounds, Mexico’s David Carreon remained in the third spot with his best then, coming in his opening throw with 76.11.
Walcott, who in the lead up to the Games had a seventh-place finish at the Morrocco stop of IAAF Diamond League on July 13 with an 83.26-throw and three days later, a fifth-place finish at a meet in France, returned in round five with a shaky 70.91m.
Walcott knew he had to come good in the final round and that he did, sending the iron-spear 84.47m, a mark that could not be contested by his closest challenger Peters, who reached 80.45m in his final attempt and had to settle for silver.
Carreon stayed on for the bronze medal, improving with a fifth-round throw of 76.27.
Over on the track, Zakiyah Denoon, Semoy Hackett, Khalifa St Fort and Reyare Thomas, running out of lane three, put together a fine race to cop a silver medal in the women’s 4x100m.
The local quartet clocked 43.61 seconds to follow Jamaica, which was in lane five, to the line in 43.41 and in third place was the Dominican Republic team in lane four with a season’s best time of 43.68.
Minutes later, the T&T men’s team of Keston Bledman, Jonathan Farinha, Jalen Purcell and Nathan Farinha, in lane two, ran a season’s best 38.90 to just miss out on a medal, placing fourth in 4x100m relay final.
Out in lane five, Barbados raced to gold in a Games record time of 38.41 ahead of silver-medallist Dominican Republic (38.71) in lane four and bronze-medallist Jamaica (lane three) in 38.79.
Meanwhile, boxer Michael Alexander added a silver to T&T’s medal haul after he was overwhelmed by Olympic bronze medallist Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez in the men’s lightweight (60kg) final.
Alexander lost on points, 5-0, to experienced Cuban boxer, who won the lightweight gold at the 2014 CAC Games.
On the penultimate day of the CAC Games, T&T has a total of 30 medals (9 gold, 8 silver and 13 bronze).
Rugby falls 26-5 to Jamaica
In the bronze medal match, T&T went under to Jamaica 26-5. In the semifinals, T&T fell to Mexico 29-5. Leon Pantor had T&T ahead in the second minute of the match but Mexicans rebounded quickly on completed the win with five made tries and two conversions.
Earlier in the quarterfinals, T&T came from behind to comfortably beat Costa Rica 20-5 to reach the semifinals. Andres Ortiz opened the scoring completing a try in the first minute of the match for the Costa Rican team.
A minute and a half later, Agboola Silverthorn completed the first of two tries to level the score, 5-5. Joseph Quashie then gave T&T the lead, 10-5, with the score remaining unchanged at halftime.
Silverton pushed T&T further ahead scoring his second try with Leon Pantor making another some two minutes later to seal the win.
Men’s vballers finish 8th
T&T men’s volleyball team ended in eighth place after losing to Guatemala, 3-1 (25-22, 27-25, 23-25, 25-17) in the men’s volleyball tournament at the Humberto Perea Coliseum.
Guatemala edged T&T up to the fourth set, starting on a comfortable five-point lead and growing while finishing with a wider advantage.
T&T trailed in spikes with a 42-55 margin and in aces with 2-6; T&T did better in blocking with 15-10 and Guatemala committed one more unforced error than T&T (30-29).
In the loss wing spiker Legall Brandon scored 18 points as T&T’s top scorer and middle blocker Marc Honore contributed with 10 points.
Honore said, “We need to play more matches, we played the whole tournament flat. Today Guatemala was the better team and we made too many mistakes. We need to be strong mentally and from there work on our skills, we have a lot to learn. I am proud of some good moments during the event and I think we can be a very good team in the future.”
Guatemala’s wing-spiker Wagner Chacon led all scorers with 21 points on 18 kills and 3 blocks, middle blocker Leonel Aragon scored 16 points and wing spiker Carlos Lopez collected 15 points.
Guatemala’s setter Adan Ruano expressed “this is the first experience for all of us in Central American and Caribbean Games; we are glad for finishing seventh. I believe we could have done more, but we must continue working to keep on adding. We must improve our unity as a team, we were overconfident by leading 2-0 and our opponent kept on with their same game level. We closed as soon as we could because we were worn out”.
Maharaj ninth in canoeing
It was not smooth sailing for Satyam Maharaj in the canoeing event, placing ninth and last in the in the men’s K1 200m final at the Calima Lake in Cali.
Maharaj crossed in a time of 45.985 seconds in the gold medal race. Winning was Cuban Fidel Vargas in 36.399, second was Mexico’s Alberto Briones in 37.236 and third was Eddy Barranco of Puerto Rico in 37.479
Late Wednesday, T&T men’s and women’s team finished sixth after losing their respective classification matches. The men’s team went under to Venezuela, 16-8 while the women’s unit fell to Colombia, 14-7, earlier in the day.