media_artricles :: 2018
Schools champ wants to be like Keshorn
El Do East student eyes javelin gloryJelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 26.04.2018
At nine years old, Nathaniel Mathura joined the rest of the world looking in awe as Toco-born Keshorn Walcott stunned the world with a throw of 84.58m to claim gold for this country at the London Olympics. It was also the first time ever that someone from the Western Hemisphere won that event at the Summer Games.
Starstruck and inspired, Mathura decided from that day he would follow in Keshorn's footsteps and become a javelin thrower.
"I decided to start throwing javelin when I saw Keshorn Walcott win the Olympic gold medal," Mathura told Newsday.
Mathura, now 15 years old, has not done a bad job since then.
Last week, the El Dorado East Secondary student won gold in the Boys Under-17 javelin and discus events at the Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.Nathaniel Mathura
Making the javelin gold even more impressive was Mathura beating Veayon Joseph who won Boys Under-17 gold for Trinidad and Tobago at the 2018 Carifta Games in Bahamas last month.
Mathura, who missed the 2018 Carifta javelin qualification standard by 1.5m earlier this year, is hoping next year will be his year to represent this country.
His trophy cabinet is beginning to fill with medals and trophies in javelin, discus, and even shot put from school meets and NAAA competitions.
Aside from emulating his idol, Keshorn, Mathura wants to even surpass him.
"My goals in javelin is to reach on the world stage, and compete at the Olympics and IAAF World Championships. One of my other goals is to break the world record held by (Czech Republic's) Jan Zelezny," Mathura said.
"My heroes are world record holder Jan Zelezny, Johannes Vetter and Keshorn Walcott...I look up to (Carifta U-20 gold medallist) Tyriq Horsford too."
What was it like meeting Keshorn for the first time?
"I saw him when I was at Richard Thompson's training camp. He tell me 'always have perseverance and determination'. It inspired me to be more like him and create a legacy for myself."
Mathura, who trains with the D'Abadie Progressive Athletic Club, said he was satisfied with his effort at the Secondary School Championships, but believes he could have thrown a bit further in the javelin.
"I am happy with my performance, but I wanted to break the Under-17 record of 54.54m at the Games, but I threw 54.16m. I felt I had a 55m throw in me, but on the day it was not meant to be."
Mathura, who lives in the Brazil/Talparo area, said it would mean a lot to represent TT in the sport. "It would mean the world to me to represent TT in javelin at any level because it is my dream. I want to make the best of my ability and my gift that God gave me as a javelin thrower."
The Form Three student has a great support system, including his father Chad, who also serves as his coach. "My father, mother and brother have always been by my side keeping me focused. The rest of my family is always behind me urging me on to be the best I can be."
Javelin athlete Nathaniel Mathura. Photo: Dennis Allen for ttgameplan.