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Walcott, relay men hunt medals

Andre E Baptiste :: Trinidad Guardian :: 06.10.2019

Two-time Olympic medallist Keshorn Walcott threw 84.44 metres with his first throw to qualify automatically for Sunday's men's javelin final at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

"There was no pressure on me and you know how long I have been chasing a medal in the World Championships so hopefully God's willing tomorrow (Sunday) will be the time," Walcott told Guardian Media Sports on Saturday after progressing to the medal round.

"I came out here throwing in last position and really wanted to throw first but I was pretty nervous out there and so glad to be able to qualify in one throw and be able to get back inside given that the finals is right there. I was just watching what I could do to improve and I saw certain things that can be done differently to go further, so I am happy for that," said Walcott.

He said, "My coach and I, we have been working on my run up and my release handle and today although I was slow and it was not one of my best throws. I got the distance, over the last two weeks training has been good and we were 50-50 coming into this event today."

The javelin final is scheduled to start at 12.55 pm (TT time) with Walcott throwing first of the group of 12.

Defending World 4x400m champion, T&T had to dig deep without 400m finalist Machel Cedenio and eventually finished third in 3.01.35 in semifinal heat two to advance to Sunday' final at 2.30 pm (TT time).

Asa Guevera ran the first leg and admitted he was not happy with his effort saying: "It was not one of my best runs, I know that but we made it to the finals and that was the objective, so we are going to get ready for that on Sunday," said Guevara, who handed over to Jereem Richards to run the second leg. 

"I try to run with some reserve and ensure we were in a position to qualify and the rest of the team did that, I expected us to do a time of 3.01 but the others ran very fast," noted Richards.

"On Sunday, Machel (Cedenio) will be with us and that will play an important role in the times so we are coming there to defend our title." 

Darren Alfred, who ran the third leg said, "It is a great feeling to represent your country and today I just tried to ensure I gave the baton to Deon (Lendore) in a good enough position and we could qualify for the finals.

Lendore, who ran the anchor leg said, "It was tough out there today and tomorrow it will be so as well. I just wanted to ensure we qualified automatically and we did that as a team."

Later, T&T's women's quartet of Semoy Hackett, Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Mauricia Prieto and Kamaria Durant in the 4x100m finished sixth in the final with a season best time of 42.71 seconds but still were disappointed in the main with their final placing.

Hackett said, "We came out and gave it our best and in the end it was not good enough.

"Going forward we need to learn from this and hopefully given what everyone saw from the girls out here, give us more opportunity to train together, Kelly and I are about five minutes away. As the most experienced here, we would have loved to finish higher and we came here with that aim so that is why we are not satisfied with our final place because we believe with a lot more exposure and events we can get better."

For Prieto, who was making her first World Championships appearance, it was something she will always remember. 

"For me this experience was special and I am just glad that I was given the opportunity to be involved in the finals," said Prieto, who caught the attention of Baptiste.

"I have watched Prieto while she was in school and I am glad she has stayed in the sport," said the former national sprint champion to which Hackett agreed.

Durant retained her place in the starting four and ran the anchor leg.

"I am just happy we all finished the race and finished in one piece and now we have to come back and build on this, this is just more encouragement for me and the others going forward," said Durant.

As for going forward all four women were clear on one thing and that is that they're all looking forward to the Tokyo Olympics.

However at the same time they emphasized they know they need to improve but they need assistance from all involved in the process and they can medal.


Walcott, relay men hunt medals
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T&T's Keshorn Walcott will attempt one of the three javelin medals that are on offer today at the IAAF World Track and Field Champi AP

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