|Javelin Throw||90.16||Lausanne (Pontaise)||09 JUL 2015|
|Javelin Throw (700g)||66.72||Bressanone||11 JUL 2009|
|2015||90.16||Lausanne (Pontaise)||09 JUL|
|2014||85.77||Zürich (Letzigrund)||28 AUG|
|2013||84.39||Port of Spain||03 MAY|
|2012||84.58||London (Olympic Stadium)||11 AUG|
|2011||75.77||Guadalajara, MEX||28 OCT|
|2010||67.01||Santo Domingo||03 JUL|
|15th IAAF World Championships||13q1||76.83||Beijing (National Stadium)||24 AUG 2015|
|2nd IAAF Continental Cup 2014||3||83.52||Marrakech (Le Grande Stade)||14 SEP 2014|
|14th IAAF World Championships||10q1||78.78||Moskva (Luzhniki)||15 AUG 2013|
|The XXX Olympic Games||1||84.58||London (Olympic Stadium)||11 AUG 2012|
|14th IAAF World Junior Championships||1||78.64||Barcelona (Estadio Olímpico)||13 JUL 2012|
|13th IAAF World Junior Championships||9q2||66.05||Moncton (Moncton Stadium)||22 JUL 2010|
|6th IAAF World Youth Championships||8q2||66.72||Bressanone||11 JUL 2009|
Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.
Updated 24 April 2013
Keshorn WALCOTT, Trinidad and Tobago (Javelin Throw)
Born:2 April 1993, Toco, Trinidad
Lives: Mt Hope, Trinidad
Coach: Ismael Lopez Mastrapa
Manager: Sean Roach
The first time Keshorn Walcott threw a javelin, he knewhe was on to something.
“Back in 2009, my cousin (Jamel Paul) and some other guysused to be throwing the javelin. One evening I went out and attempted it, andthat was basically it. The first throw I took was further than what theywere throwing, and they were training.”
Coach at the Toco Secondary school, John Andalcioencouraged 15-year-old Walcott to take the event seriously.
“I saw I had a little promise in the javelin and stuckwith it.”
Talk about an understatement! Just a few months afterthat fateful first throw, Walcott was in St Lucia, representing Trinidad andTobago at the Carifta Games - the regional junior track and fieldchampionships.
About a week after his 16th birthday, hecelebrated with Carifta gold in the boys’ under-17 javelin, his 59.30 metres throwlanding just eight centimetres short of the meet record.
Walcott’s first encounter with Cuban coach Ismael Lopez Mastrapacame at the 2009 Carifta meet.
“He was the (Trinidad and Tobago) coach for throws. Hecame up to me and told me he wanted to work together. I didn’t have any coachat the time so I said it was okay.”
The logistics, though, proved challenging, since Walcottlived in the rural village of Trois Roches, Toco, some 40 miles from thecapital city.
“It was a bit difficult, knowing he (Mastrapa) was inPort-of-Spain and I was in Toco. But we still attempted it. I trained on myown. He sent the programmes via email or called on the phone, and I would justdo what I had to do.”
Under the guidance of Mastrapa, the young thrower madegreat strides. In fact, when asked who the people mainly responsible for hissuccess are, Walcott thought long and hard but could come up with just onename: “Ismael”.
“Without him, I think I would be still struggling to getgood distances. Since I’ve been working with him I have been making a lot ofprogress. Most field athletes are a bit lost in terms of how they aretechnically. Coming out from Cuba and knowing that everything for them istechnique really helped me. Without him, I wouldn’t have a technique.”
At Carifta 2010, in the Cayman Islands, Walcott triumphedin the under-20 age-group. He also struck gold at the Central American andCaribbean (CAC) Junior Championships, in the Dominican Republic.
At the 2011 Carifta Games, in Jamaica, Walcott defendedhis title with a championship record throw of 72.04m. And late in the year, he produceda big PR (personal record) at the Pan American Games, in Mexico, his 75.77meffort earning the junior seventh spot in a quality field of seniors.
Up to December, 2011, Walcott was a student at the TocoSecondary School. However, ahead of the 2012 season, he decided to leaveschool, and focus fully on his track and field ambitions. In a joint leap offaith, Walcott and his elder brother, Elton, a four-time Carifta Games triplejump champion, left their Toco home.
“My brother was already out of school. We had to make adecision to come into Port-of-Spain to train. It wasn’t making any sensestaying in Toco anymore because we reached a point where we realised we couldonly do so much on our own. That’s when we met Sean.”
Seeing the potential of the Walcott brothers, Sean Roach decidedto manage their careers. And going beyond the call of duty, the founder and CEOof TNT Elite Sports took Keshorn and Elton into his home, situated about five milesfrom Port-of-Spain.
“The opportunity came where we could come into Port-of-Spainto train. I could train with Ismael, my brother could get some additional workwith some other coaches. So, we sat down, talked about it, and we decided tomove. I was just going with the flow in school, so I needed to take a risk. Icame out, and the risk worked.”
In his final season as a junior athlete, Walcott won hisfourth Carifta title on the trot, grabbing gold at the 2012 Games, in Bermuda.A record throw of 77.59m earned him the distinction of competing unbeatenthroughout his Carifta career.
At the Quantum Classic, in Trinidad and Tobago, Walcottproduced a big 78.94m effort – a newnational open record, and a North America, Central America and Caribbean(NACAC) junior standard as well.
Walcott reset those records, and alsoadded the Pan American junior record to his list of achievements with a winning80.11m hurl at the IAAF centennialanniversary meet, inCuba.
In El Salvador, the Toco teenretained his CAC Juniors title with a Championship record throw of 82.83m.
At the World JuniorChampionships, in Spain, Walcott made history, becoming the first-ever globalthrowing champion from Trinidad and Tobago.
Then, it was off to the Olympics– an opportunity to perform on the biggest sporting stage at the tender age of19. It was an occasion to cherish, Walcott getting to share that stage with histhrowing idol, Norway’s two-time Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen.
“I always looked up to him, knowing that he was the best.His technique was smooth.”
Walcott threw 81.75m in the qualifying competition,earning the right to compete against Thorkildsen in the Olympic final.
But he did more than just compete.
It is now history that on Saturday, August 11th,Keshorn Walcott produced one of the biggest shocks at the London Games, throwing84.58m to grab gold.
“I always tell myself I’m going to win an Olympic goldmedal, but I wasn’t telling myself I was going to win in 2012. When I made theOlympics, my first thing was just for experience. Me and my brother always hada plan that 2016 is going to be our year, so winning the gold in 2012 was abonus.”
With his big second round hurl, Walcott joined an eliteclub. Thirty-six years after Hasely Crawford crossed the line first in themen’s 100 metres final, at the Montreal Games, Walcott became only the secondTrinidad and Tobago athlete to secure Olympic gold.
“I don’t like that, when you say elite club. It makes itsound like it’s going to be a small group of gold medallists, ever. I wouldlike that to change. What I went through coming back home from theOlympics…when we come back home, it should be normal. There shouldn’t be allthat just for one gold medal. Once we get more, the country will be moreaccustomed. Hopefully, it wouldn’t be an elite group, it will be a large group.”
August 13th was declared a public holiday inTrinidad and Tobago to mark Walcott’s historic achievement. A massive crowdturned up at Piarco International Airport on that day to greet Walcott, on hisreturn from London.
“I wasn’t expecting so many people. Trinidadians got aholiday, so they were grateful and came out to support. That was good, but itwas a bit overwhelming.”
The Government showered Walcott with gifts – TT$1,000,000(US$166,000), 20,000 square feet of land, a TT$2,500,000 (US$416,000) house, aUniversity of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) scholarship. Also, it was announced thata new Caribbean Airlines aircraft as well as a housing development in Toco willcarry his name, and that the Toco Lighthouse would be called “Keshorn WalcottLighthouse”.
Another highlight of the airport welcome was Walcott’spresentation of a bouquet of flowers to his mother, Beverly Walcott.
It was not just any bouquet. Ahead of the Olympic final,Beverly asked Keshorn for one of the three bouquets that would be presented tothe men’s javelin medallists.
What mummy wants, mummy gets, the Olympic championdelivering the flowers at the welcome home celebration.
Then came the motorcade to Toco. Though Toco is about 30miles from Piarco, the going was slow as many lined the streets to catch aglimpse of the first person to win anindividual Olympic title and a world junior title in the same year.
“They made a lotof stops going up. In Sangre Grande, that crowd was huge. It took 10 hours toreach Toco. That was like coming from London - the longest we ever took. Wereached after one a.m. The amount of people that were in Toco, that wassurprising. People who had never been to Toco before went up to Toco that day.That was great.”
There were more motorcades to come, as Trinidad andTobago continued to celebrate. The schedule was a hectic one, forcing Walcottto make a Port-of-Spain hotel room his home for a month.
“That was a bit rough,” says the youngest-ever Olympicjavelin champion. “But going all over the country, places I had never been,places I never heard of, was good. At times it was a bit tiring, but at timesit was good. The people were so happy just to see a single person like me…sometimesit put a smile on my face.”
With his August triumph, Walcott became only the secondathlete from the western hemisphere to win an Olympic men’s javelin title.
Also of great significance is the fact that Walcott isthe very first black male thrower to strike gold in the history of the ModernOlympics.
In 116 years, between 1896 and 2012, a total of 116 maleOlympic champions have been crowned in the shot put, discus, hammer throw andjavelin, as well as in some discontinued events. The only black on that longlist is Keshorn Walcott.
“Hopefully, it’s the start of something. It’s a change,and hopefully it will change for the better. More people will be confident inthemselves, knowing that they’re black, going up against the Europeans, knownas the powerhouses of throwing. When you go out there, you could represent, youknow that you are able to compete amongst the best, and win. I took that from it.I wasn’t that confident in myself. Now, I have it in my mind that I could goout and compete amongst the best.”
But he does not want young, black throwers to try tobecome the next Keshorn Walcott.
“I wouldn’t say you can be a Keshorn. You can be yourself.You can be better.”
In November, at the IAAF centenary celebrations, inBarcelona, Spain, Walcott was presented with the 2012 male rising star award bythree-time Olympic men’s javelin champion Jan Železný.
“Everybody knows him. It was a great pleasure getting tomeet him at the Olympics. He told my coach, keep doing what I’m doing, andwe’re going to see great progression.”
But while Walcott has the deepest respect for the Czech,he does not want to be the next Železný.
“I want to be Keshorn. Once I do anything, I don’t wantanybody to tell me I’m the next somebody. I’m the next me, so hopefully, if Isurpass what he did, I’m going to be known as Keshorn, not the next Železný.”
Železný is the World record holder with a monster throw of 98.48m.
“It’s a long-term gold,” says Walcott. “I’m moreconcentrating on the Olympic record. That’s a little closer to me than the Worldrecord right now.”
Thorkildsen is the Olympic record holder, the Norwegianestablishing his 90.57m standard at the 2008 Games, in Beijing, China.
“Once things work as they’ve been working, hopefullywe’ll get up there.”
With Walcott’s admirable work ethic, there’s no limit towhat he can achieve.
“My home, where I used to live (in Toco), it wasn’t thatmuch…small home, we didn’t have much. Whatever I got into I really had to workhard because you had to make something out of it, so it could support my familyin the long run. So, just getting into sports, knowing that failure wasn’t anoption, you just keep pushing. I still have a lot more to go.”
A single-minded devotion to mastering his craft, combinedwith the expert input of his Cuban coach has resulted in Olympic gold, makingWalcott an instant celebrity in Trinidad and Tobago.
“I feel a little bit overwhelmed at times. When you walkoutside, everybody’s watching you. Everybody wants to take a picture. Everyfive minutes, you’re walking, and they stop you. It wasn’t expected, so I didn’thave time to prepare. There wasn’t a lead-up, so I just had to start copingfrom day one.
“Since I came back, I think I have been coping prettywell. Things have calmed down a lot, so hopefully things will get a little morecalm and go back to how it was a little more. I had a little coaching to dealwith interviews, and a little public speaking. But for me, I just sleep throughthe day and go to training. I hardly see people.”
Walcott is now 20, and preparing for his WorldChampionship debut, in Moscow, Russia.
“Winning gold for me at the World Championships is not amust. If I’m able to, that would be great. I’m just going to work hard and seehow things go. I’m going for the experience again, because I never competed onthe (senior) world stage, other than the Olympics. I’m still fresh ineverything.”
Javelin: 84.58 (2013)
Javelin: 2009: 66.72 (700g); 2010: 67.01;2011: 75.77; 2012: 84.58
2010 1st *CAC U20 Championships (SantoDomingo) 67.01
2011 4th *CAC Championships(Mayaguez) 70.98
2011 7th Pan Am Games(Guadalajara) 75.77
2012 1st *CAC U20 Championships (SanSalvador) 82.83
2012 1st World Junior Championships(Barcelona) 78.64
2012 1st Olympic Games (London) 84.58
* CAC = Central American & Caribbean
Prepared by KwameLaurence for the IAAF “Focus on athletes” project. Copyright IAAF 2013