Saint Lucia’s stint at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar officially came to an end on the penultimate day of the event after two-time Male Athlete of the Year, Albert Reynolds, failed to advance to the final of the men’s javelin throw.
His best effort of 73.91m, achieved on his second attempt, after an opening 69.68 effort, placed him 15th in group A qualifying. He fouled his third and last attempt.
Advancing to the final from his group were German’s Johannes Vetter (89.35m), Grenada’s Anderson Peters (85.34m), Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch (84.31), Germany’s Julian Weber (84.29), Kenya’s Julius Yego (83.86), Hungary’s Norbert Rivasz-Toth (83.42) and Poland’s Marcin Krukowski (82.44)
Advancing from group B were: Estonia’s Magnus Kirt (88.36), Sweden’s Kim Amb (84.85), Trinidad and Tobago’s London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Keshorn Walcott (84.44), Chinese Taipei’s Chao-Tsin Cheng (83.40), and Finland’s Lassi Etelatalo (82.26).
Reynolds, in comparison, won a bronze medal and reset the national record, with a throw of 82.19m at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru last August — and become Saint Lucia’s first male medallist at the Pan Am Games in over a decade.
Shortly after the Pan Am Games, the 31-year-old from Babonneau accepted an invitation to compete at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Qatar.
Although Reynolds missed the initial qualification list, he benefitted through the absence of other invited competitors in his field.
Saint Lucia’s only other entrant in Doha, Levern Spencer, missed qualifying for the women’s high jump final by a whisker, on Friday, September 27.
From a starting field of 30, Spencer finished 13th with a height of 1.92m, the same height as four other jumpers who made the final.
The Babonneau native entered the competition jumping in 12th position from Group B. Athletes had to clear 1.94m or make the top 12 overall to get to the final.
Despite not reaching the finals, one must be reminded that Spencer has made the IAAF World Championships final on three occasions. This is her eighth consecutive time qualifying to represent Saint Lucia at the highest level in world athletics.
She previously made the final in 2007 Osaka (her second senior World Championships); 2013, Moscow; and 2015, Beijing (along with Jeanelle Scheper).
She was also the oldest athlete in that field, one of just eight women born in the 1980s.
The World Championships, which began on September 27, ends on Sunday, October 6.
No doubt, both Saint Lucian athletes will be focused on making the Olympic team next year in Tokyo.