National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

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Keshorn wins gold after protest

Jelani Beckles :: Newsday :: 29.07.2019

KESHORN Walcott is the national men's javelin champion after all, after the decision to disqualify the two-time Olympic medallist was reversed following a protest by the 26-year-old and his team. 

Walcott, representing Rebirth, was disqualified after four attempts at the NGC/National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAATT) Open Championships at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, on Saturday afternoon. 

After fouling his first attempt, he landed the spear at 79.98 metres on his second throw, which was enough to put him in gold medal position. On his third effort he recorded a 77.68m throw. Before attempting his fourth throw Walcott was visibly upset and had a disagreement with an official before leaving the track. 

The two other competitors in the field, Shakeil Waithe and Tyriq Horsford, completed the six rounds of competition. Due to Walcott's disqualification, Waithe was initially awarded gold with his effort of 78.87m and Horsford silver with a 71.67m performance. 

At 1.45 pm yesterday, Walcott's manager Sean Roach confirmed with Newsday the decision to challenge. 

"Right now we are doing a protest. I really don't want to give out any details until we talk to the officials. I am just waiting for the coach (Ismael Lopez Mastrapa) to meet with me and then we will go and talk to them."

Newsday contacted general secretary of the NAAA Dexter Voisin, but he said events chairman Allan Baboolal would be the better person to speak with. 

Baboolal, however, said he could not comment on the reason for the disqualification, saying, "I can't tell you that. We have a process going on. I can't talk to the media before we talk to the technical officials."

Asked if they planned to meet yesterday, Baboolal said, "I don't know, I can't tell you when. The referee has to send a report and we have to get it to the discipline committee."

Asked if he is officially disqualified Baboolal said, "I cannot answer you. There have a process to follow."

At 7 pm yesterday, Roach said Walcott's first three throws counted and therefore was enough to give him gold. Roach, who said the disqualification took place because of a technical infringement, said, "I am happy it was able to sort out. This is not something that any athlete or any manager likes to go through in terms of doing a protest based on an infringement, but at least the parties were able to investigate the matter and determine that they would have allowed his first three throws to stand and therefore with his first three throws standing he would have still won the event. We are happy for that and we move on."

Walcott, the only person from the Western Hemsiphere to win an Olympic javelin gold medal, in London 2012, is arguably TT's most decorated athlete. He has an impressive trophy cabinet with Olympic, Pan Am, CAC, World Youth Junior and Carifta gold medals as well as silver at the Commonwealth Games.


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Keshorn wins gold after protest
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Keshorn Walcott in action during the men's javelin on Saturday. PHOTO BY ANGELO MARCELLE.

Newsday


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