OLYMPIC javelin bronze medallist Keshorn Walcott said he is grateful to be in the esteemed company of former Olympians Ato Boldon and Rodney Wilkes as a multiple Olympic individual medallist after quietly returning to Trinidad and Tobago, yesterday morning.
Among those who greeted Walcott at the Piarco International Airport were Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith, TT Olympic Committee president Brian Lewis and chairman of the Sports Company of TT Michael Phillips.
Walcott won bronze at the recently concluded 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil becoming just the third TT athlete to win multiple Olympic individual medals.
Walcott’s top throw of 85.38 metres landed him the bronze medal behind gold medallist Thomas Rohler of Germany (90.30m) and silver medallist Julius Yego of Kenya (88.24m).
Walcott has now won two Olympic individual medals as the Toco born athlete won gold in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics. Boldon and Wilkes are the only other TT athletes to win more than one individual Olympic medal.
Wilkes earned a silver medal at the 1948 London Games and a bronze medal at the 1952 Helsinki Games both in the sport of weightlifting. Track and field sprinter Boldon won two bronze medals at the 1996 Atlanta Games before winning a silver and a bronze at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Walcott said he is honoured to be in the company of Wilkes and Boldon and said he wants to achieve success not just for himself but for his country. Walcott said, “No disrespect but I don’t want to be in the company of anybody I want to be in the company of myself. I am trying to achieve what I think I could achieve as a person. I was given a talent and I think I can achieve some great things not just for me but for my country. I am grateful to know that I am being labelled among some great names including Ato and Mr Wilkes. I am young so hopefully I can achieve much more not just in sport but outside.” Walcott said he is elated to be back home after spending a long time abroad competing.
“I am very happy to be back home, it’s been a long time for me. I left home since the beginning of July so it’s been a long trip. I am very satisfied (with the Olympics). I am not satisfied with my year but I am satisfied with my Olympic results.” Walcott is now among an elite group of javelin athletes who has had multiple reward at the Olympics.
Walcott explained, “Only 11 people in the history of javelin have double medalled.
Everybody is expecting gold from me. I expected gold for myself because I always set my expectations high but it is something that myself and my coach knew was going to be hard to get.” Looking ahead the two-time Olympic medallist admitted that his performances at the World Championships over the years has been below par and he wants to change his fortunes at the 2017 edition saying his health is crucial.
“My plan is the same just to be healthy, as you can see once I am healthy I can get results. The past few years I have been up and down with health and this year I have been healthy so I was able to get some good results in the ending of my competition (season).
My main focus is always starting off each and ending every year with health.” The TT public criticized the national athletes for their performances at the Olympics as many felt they could have performed at a higher level.
Walcott said critics will always be around and expectations are always high when TT competes in world events.
“You get that (criticism) whether you win, lose or draw. You are going to have critics. I know what I am capable of doing and my coach knows what I am capable of doing, the people around me know what we are doing. During the bigger competitions you going to have the biggest critics coming out of nowhere thinking they are professionals. I always say as an athlete you going to have to deal with that no matter what.”