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Borel silver, Walcott bronze but javelin record falls again
Four days after resetting the national javelin record in Rome, Keshorn Walcott did it again, raising his and T&T’s best ever mark to 86.44m for another third place finish at the latest Diamond League leg, yesterday in Birmingham, England. The event also saw shot putter Cleopatra Borel claiming second place with a top class effort of 18.80 metres which put her sixth overall on the world leading list.
With one scratch, all five other throws were in excess of the 80-metre mark, the third of which gave the 22-year-old another confidence booster ahead of next month’s Pan American Games and August’s IAAF World Championships. His other efforts were 80.56, 85.21, 85.59 and 84.97m.
This followed last Thursday’s national breaking throw for Walcott, who placed third in Rome with an 86.20m effort. It would also mean that Walcott broke the national record for the fourth time in under a year. He did it twice at the beginning and end of August last year, when he threw 85.28m in a qualifying event for the Commonwealth Games and then 85.77m at the Zurich leg of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League.
Yesterday’s javelin programme was regarded among the most dramatic and eventful in Diamond League history with that discipline hosting the most revered group of athletes in any of the other track and field events on the day.
An exceptionally special day for the traditional favourites in the men’s javelin, Kenyan Julius Yego, last year’s Commonwealth gold medallist, won the leg on his final throw with an incredible 91.39m effort, the best throw in the world this year. In fact, Yego’s effort also broke the African record and was the best javelin throw by any athlete since 2006. World champion Vitezslav Vesely finished second with an 88.18m, his best of the year.
Yego took an early lead with an 85.95m throw on his first attempt, significantly better than 80.56m opener. However, Walcott and Yeho then exchanged leads by the third round after the former threw his national record breaking 86.43 effort.
Yego, on the same round, again took the lead with a 86.53m hurl. But prior to Yego’s final hurl, Vesely also took a turn in the lead when he seemingly won the leg with a season best effort of 88.18m.
No one thrower, including Walcott was able to respond to Vesely, with the exception of Yego who lit up the arena with his best ever effort on the final throw of the night.
There was confusion and debate as to the legitimacy of the mark given that the spear fell out of the sector given that they had not been extended beyond 87 metres.
And, even after it was measured, the judged decided it was outside of the sector.
It took all of 20 minutes, even after the meeting ended, for the officials to reverse their decision and to award Yego the victory and a legitimate personal, national continental and IAAF Diamond League record and the world leading mark.
At the end of the event, Yego went within one point of Vesely on the Diamond League rankings with six points, while Walcott remains tied in fourth with two points.
Keston Bledman lined up in the men’s 100m heats but was unable to make it to the final which was eventually won by USA’s Marvin Brady, who clocked 9.93 seconds, followed by runners-up Adam Gemili of the UK and the other American Michael Rodgers, who tied in 9.97. Nesta Carter of Jamaica placed fourth in ten seconds.
Bledman ran 10.11 seconds in the first round, one spot behind France’s Jimmy Vicaut who barely made it into the final with 10.09 seconds. Kim Collins of St Kitts was also unable to progress to the final after he finished fifth in the heats clocking 10.17 seconds.
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