While Michelle Lee Ahye was last night shouldering all Trinidad and Tobago expectations for a medal in the 200 metres final at Rio de Janeiro’s 31st edition Summer Olympic Games, her compatriot javelin thrower Keshorn Walcott tugged heads decidedly his way as he began his quest to string the beckoning Rio gold to the one he earned in London’s 2012 30th edition Games.
As Lee Ahye took up her Lane 7 final assignment, next to eventual winner Jamaican Elaine Thompson) (lane 6), Walcott was his usual ice-cool self having moments earlier hurled the spear a qualifying best 88.68 metres, well past the 83-metre standard set the 37 throwers to beat for automatic passage to Saturday night’s 12-man final.
Nine others inched by the final qualifying mark with the field completed by the next three closest. Four had made it out of the 19-competitor field that started qualifying.
Walcott was second to throw in the 18-competitor second qualifying group and with his score made, he had the luxury of passing up the two other attempts on offer.
Walcott who becomes the latest one of TT’s 32 athletes in Rio to carry TT hope for a medal at the Games throws first of the 12 in Saturday’s final which offers three attempts per finalist in the first instance and three more for the emerging top eight to determine the winner.
Ahye and Walcott had earlier seen their national teammate sprinter Rondell Sorillo failing to qualify for tonight’s 200 metres final in which Usain Bolt is on song to win even without his American arch-enemy Justin Gatlin who also failed to qualify from last night’s semifinal.
Ahye herself finished sixth in the 200 final as she did in the 100, her failure to be a medallist passing mention but her qualification for both sprint finals at the Games highly plausible and historic. Jamaican Thompson double sprint win in the same Olympic Games matches the last time occurrence – 1988 Seoul by late American Florence Griffith Joyner.
TT’s schedule of competition today features the men and women four by 100 metres relay teams in preliminary races (10.20 and 10.40 am) to qualify for tomorrow’s finals.
To come, apart from Walcott’s final Saturday, is the 4 by 400 metres men’s relay, preliminaries tomorrow