Javelin thrower Mathura laments postponement of Pan American Under-20s
JAVELIN PITCHER Nathaniel Mathura threw a personal best 61.5 meters during the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) preparation meet at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on Sunday.
In ten days, he could launch even further. It peaks at the right time. However, due to the postponement of the Pan American Under-20 Championships from October 22-24 in Concepcion, Chile, the youngster will not be able to show his athletic prowess.
The 19-year-old had been training for the championships for several months. In the previous two NAAA qualifiers in September, he threw the spear to 57.25m in the first, then improved by over three meters with a throw of 60.96m in the second.
He continued to show his best form on Sunday improving both distances and surpassing the U20 javelin standard of 59.48m for the second time in a row.
Mathura’s efforts would have guaranteed him a place in the national team for the first time in his sports career, but the pandemic situation in Chile forced the meeting to be postponed. The U20 championships were postponed for a year on Tuesday.
Mathura is hurt to miss his first chance to represent TT on the big stage. He also reportedly reached the qualifying mark for the Carifta Games earlier this year, but similarly that meet was also canceled due to the pandemic.
âIt’s really disappointing because I worked really hard for it (U-20 qualification) all year. It was my last year to make a junior national team. I was heartbroken when Carifta got canceled so I started to look forward to competing in Chile.
âI have always dreamed of representing TT. I felt like it was right there and I could have grabbed and hit it, but it just didn’t happen, âsaid Mathura after setting a new personal best.
High school student El Dorado East is coached by Ismael Lopez Mastrapa, coach of two-time Olympic medalist Keshorn Walcott. He has been training with the Cuban coach for two years.
According to him, he recently launched new distances thanks to Mastrapa’s training program which would have allowed him to reach a peak for the Under-20 championships.
His steady improvement over the last three NAAA pre-season fixtures is proof of his growth and Mathura believes he would have even crossed the 65-yard mark in Chile had the event not been postponed.
Looking to the future, he’s looking to move past the heartache of this year to make his national team debut. Mathura is an Upper Six student and is currently studying Tourism, Environmental Sciences, Sociology, and Caribbean Studies.
âI’m just focusing on improving myself and my university studies abroad,â Mathura said. “I want to participate in more competitions because I participate every two or three months; it is difficult to improve as an athlete. I want to go to college so that I can gain this experience and become a better javelin thrower. .
Mathura said working with Mastrapa has helped him become a better all-around field athlete. He sees Walcott as his inspiration to throw further and would love to be the next face of the men’s TT javelin.
He praised the Cuban-born coach. âThe potential that he (Mastrapa) has in raising an athlete is immense. I trust him and do my best in training. I believe in my trainer. He can take me where I would like to go, âsaid Mathura.
In 2022, the javelin thrower will move to the Under 23 division. He is not sure what competitions await him next year, but believes his time will come to wear the national colors for the first time.
âI want to reach the 70m mark next year and maybe even qualify for the Paris 2024 Games. My journey begins now. I will continue to train, focus, focus, and trust my coach’s process, âhe said.
However, in the third preseason competition, no other athlete was able to reach the Pan American U-20 standards.
Sunday’s results –
Triple jump men U20 – 1.Lorenzo Luces (Toco Tafac) 14.47m
200m men U20 – 1.Kegel Chance (Zenith) 22.43s; 2.Kester Richards (Thriving Athletics) 22.51s; 3.Josiah Peters (Phoenix Athletics) 22.68s
200m women U20 – 1.Gianna Paul (Concorde) 26.43s; 2.Shanille Greene (Tobago Falcons) 28.77s
Discus men U20 – 1.Dennis Daniel (Tobago Select) 34.75m
Men’s Javelin U20 – 1st Nathaniel Mathura (El Do East) 61.5m
U20 Women’s Javelin – 1. Tehealia Kennedy (Zenith Tobago) 37.25m; 2.Gianna Paul (Concorde) 28.65 m
110m hurdles men U23 – 1.Tyrese Rawlins (Neon Wolves) 15.28s
200m men U23 – 1.Zion Charles (Fulfilling Athetics) 23.04s; 2.Josiah Wilson (Cougars) 23.23s; 3.Jaden De Souza (Phoenix Athletics) 11:30 p.m.
Discus men U23 2kg – 1.Umar Sandy (Toco Tafac) 40,93m
1500m men U23 – 1.Stephon Gould (RJR) 4: 07.61
Decathlon – 1.Anson Moses 110m hurdles (15.63s); disc (34.18 m); pole vault (2.8 m); javelin (49.28 m); 1500m (5: 29.90)