By Sue-Ann Wayow
TWO-time Olympic medalist Keshorn Walcott is getting prepared for his journey to the Tokyo Games this week.
The javelin ace will participate in his third Summer games which gets under way from July 23 to August 8 in Japan.
A press release from bmobile on Monday, stated that Walcott who is a bmobile brand ambassador said he was looking forward to his third stint at the games that have been postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 28-year-old field athlete won Trinidad and Tobago’s second-ever Olympic gold medal on debut (84.58m) at the 2012 Games in London and then captured bronze (85.38m) at the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil edition four years later.
Given credit to bmobile, for support over the past eight years, Walcott said he made good use of his downtime by doing some home renovations, adventuring out on a couple hikes and even picked up mountain biking as a hobby.
Although he was competitively inactive for a lengthy period, Walcott said he was, and continues to receive tremendous support from his sponsor.
“The bmobile team is made up of really genuine and understanding people, especially during the pandemic. They don’t take away from my time. They understand what’s necessary for me to be where I am at as an athlete and they support that. One of the major things I appreciate from them is that we share the same goal; to do our best to make the nation proud.”
All the best to Walcott and his team
General Manager Shared Services at TSTT Gerard Cooper wished Walcott all the best in his pursuit for Olympic success.
He said, “Keshorn Walcott is an exemplary athlete and a role model. At Bmobile, we firmly believe that sport is one of the major pillars which contribute to fostering young talent. We believe that Keshorn, like all the other Trinidad and Tobago athletes there, will represent the nation with pride, passion and to the best of their ability. Good luck to all of our national Olympic-bound athletes.”
Since Walcott returned to competition less than two months ago, the hulking thrower has won a medal at every meet he has participated in.
On May 19, he bagged bronze (82.75m) at the Ostrava Golden Spike Games in Czech Republic and four consecutive silver medals at the Diamond League (77.78m) in England on May 23, at the Paavo Nurmi Games (82.84m) in Finland on June 8, the Kuortane Games (89.12m) in Finland on June 26 and at the Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern (85.16m) in Switzerland on June 29. On July 13 he participated in his final event before the Olympic Games, the Muller British Grand Prix where he won bronze (76.74m).
Training and challenges
Heading into this year’s Olympic Games, the multiple national men’s javelin champion is confident in his ability. Walcott and his Cuban-born coach Ismael Lopez Mastrapa have been using the past couple, and coming weeks, to sharpen up on his technique ahead of the meet.
“I feel good going into the Games. There are a couple things in my mind I would like to solidify for my confidence. I still have a couple weeks to work on that so it is good. Once I get there healthy, I think it will be an Olympics to remember. Mentally and physically, I’m in a good place,” Walcott said.
Meanwhile, Mastrapa thinks his athlete has a good shot at delivering another mesmerizing performance on the biggest competitive stage in sport.
He admitted the pandemic may have thrown off their training regime, owing to public health restrictions but he believes Walcott is consistently improving and will give his all at the Tokyo edition.
“So far, the training has been good. He has fewer physical problems this year so that’s much better. There is always some pressure. It’s very important to have psychological preparation because it plays an important role in the end result,” he said.
Although the Olympics starts on July 23, Walcott begins the qualifying round of the men’s javelin on August 4, followed by the finals on August 7.
He will spend some time in Portugal working on his technique with his core team; coaches Mastrapa as well as long time Javelin coach Gustavo Ventura and chiropractor, Dr Alban Merepeza. He heads to Tokyo on July 22.