Walcott produces 84.82m to win Javelin at Luzern World Athletics Continental Tour Meet

By August 30, 2022

2012 Olympic Javelin champion Keshorn Walcott returned to the winner’s circle at the Luzern World Athletics Continental Tour-Silver Meet in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Walcott produced a best throw of 84.82m in the fifth round to take the win ahead of Latvian Patriks Gailums (83.30m) and Curtis Thompson of the USA (82.87m).

Bahamian Anthonique Strachan won the Women’s 200m in 22.66 ahead of Aminatou Seyni of Niger (22.71) and Jenna Prandini of the USA (22.82).

On the Men’s side, recently crowned NACAC champion Andrew Hudson of Jamaica was second in 20.47 behind the USA’s Kyree King (20.40). Charlie Dobson of Great Britain was third in 20.52.

Commonwealth Games champion Janieve Russell ran 55.25 for second in the Women’s 400m hurdles behind American Dalilah Muhammad (54.57). Finland’s Viivi Lehikoinen was third in 55.41.

 

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  • Stojkovic insists Serbia 'will be ready' for must-win Switzerland showdown Stojkovic insists Serbia 'will be ready' for must-win Switzerland showdown

    Serbia "will be ready" for the must-win showdown with Switzerland to keep their World Cup hopes alive, says coach Dragan Stojkovic.

    With just a game to go in Group G, and Brazil already into the last 16, the pair will be vying for the final knockout stage spot alongside Cameroon.

    Switzerland lie second with three points, while Serbia are at the foot of the table on one point with an inferior goal difference to the Indomitable Lions.

    But victory would see them leapfrog their rivals, and potentially qualify if Cameroon also fail to win, with Stojkovic drawing a dairy-related analogy to indicate his side's plans.

    "We'd really like to talk about their cheese and find their weak spots - the holes - to get the result," he said.

    "We knew after the draw was held that Brazil is an entirely different dimension, and we would be fighting for second place with Cameroon and Switzerland.

    "We knew the match with Switzerland would be of major importance as the last one in the group, and this is what we're now faced with. We've witnessed a lot of surprises at this World Cup, but we will be ready."

    Serbia have been facing a nervous wait over the fitness of Juventus attacker Dusan Vlahovic, but Stojkovic has confirmed he will be available for the crucial clash.

    He would not be drawn on whether he would start, however, adding: "[His] physical state is a lot better than it was when we came to Doha.

    "He could start [Friday], but I cannot share this with you today."

  • Serbia v Switzerland: Milinkovic-Savic happy with must-win situation Serbia v Switzerland: Milinkovic-Savic happy with must-win situation

    Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic would have accepted knowing a win in their final Group G game against Switzerland would likely be enough to secure progression to the World Cup knockout stages.

    Dragan Stojkovic's side have taken just one point from their two games so far, coming in a 3-3 draw against Cameroon last time out, but are still in with a chance of going through, although they need Cameroon to lose to Brazil.

    Assuming that happens, a Serbia win would be enough with Switzerland requiring just a draw.

    They find themselves in a perilous position but Milinkovic-Savic insists it is not a surprise. Asked if he would have taken this situation beforehand, he said: "Of course. When we saw the draw and the schedule, we knew that everything would depend on the last game.

    "We need to take this opportunity with both hands."

    Serbia's draw with Cameroon was arguably an opportunity lost given they were leading 3-1 in the second half.

    Captain Dusan Tadic said: "It's certainly hard because we led 3-1 and you're not happy when you end up with a draw.

    "We created a lot of chances, but of course the goals we conceded should not happen. It starts with the midfield and the defence. We know now we need a win in the last round."

    Avoiding defeat is likely to be enough for the Swiss, but boss Murat Yakin will send his players out with clear instructions to try to win the game.

    He said: "We’ll have to find the right balance. I think we can be the dominant team, we’ve proven that in the past. It will be exciting, we'll need a good start. 

    "As a head coach, you can’t send out a team and tell them a draw is enough.

    "Of course we want to try to win this game, we know we have the skills and quality to do so. Hopefully we’ll be well prepared, and then I’m convinced we’ll be the dominant team, we will take more risks.

    "It will be an exciting game, we want to focus on football, everything else I don’t really care about."


    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Serbia - Aleksandar Mitrovic

    The Fulham striker produced a mixed performance in the draw with Cameroon. While he was a nuisance all afternoon and scored a goal, he failed to capitalise on many of the chances that came his way. Twice in the first half he should have done better while he also missed another clear opportunity in the closing stages.

    He will need to improve markedly if Serbia are to get the win they require.

     

    Switzerland - Yann Sommer

    A clean sheet would likely guarantee Switzerland's progression, and Yakin will be reassured by the fact he can count on one of the tournament's in-form goalkeepers.

    Only two men have made more saves than Sommer's nine, the Netherlands' Andries Noppert (albeit from three matches rather than Sommer's two) and his opposite number on Friday, Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (12).


    PREDICTION

    Stats Perform's AI model believes all three outcomes are a distinct possibility with little to separate them.

    Serbia are ranked a 39 per cent chance to claim the three points they require, with Switzerland a 34.6 per cent chance. A draw comes in at 26.4 per cent. As is often the case, it will come down to fine margins - a mistake or a moment of genius.

  • Vlahovic willing to play 'with one leg' as Serbia approach must-win meeting with Switzerland Vlahovic willing to play 'with one leg' as Serbia approach must-win meeting with Switzerland

    Dusan Vlahovic believes his injury woes are behind him ahead of Serbia's must-win World Cup clash with Switzerland on Friday, declaring he would play "with one leg" if necessary. 

    Vlahovic was an unused substitute as Serbia squandered a 3-1 lead in Monday's thrilling 3-3 draw with Cameroon, having only played 24 minutes from the bench in their 2-0 loss to Brazil on matchday one after struggling with a groin injury.

    Serbia must beat Switzerland to have any chance of reaching the last 16, while their fate could be decided by goal difference if Cameroon beat Brazil, and Vlahovic is determined to be involved.

    Asked about his condition at a press conference on Wednesday, Vlahovic said: "I managed to recover in 10 days to be available for the national team.

    "We all talk to the coach every day, he knows my possibilities. If needed with one leg, I'm ready. 

    "The question is how much I can help the team. I feel much better and I'm ready to help us go for the win.

    "We feel the support and you can see and feel in the air that the people believe in us. We knew that the game with Switzerland would be decisive for us, we live for it. 

    "Against them, we promise to play to the maximum. If they are better, let them beat us, if not, we will win."

    Switzerland edged out Serbia by two points to qualify from Group E at the 2018 World Cup, claiming a 2-1 victory from a highly charged head-to-head meeting between the teams.  

    In the aftermath of that game, Switzerland goalscorers Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri – both of whom are of Albanian-Kosovan descent – were charged by FIFA after appearing to celebrate their strikes by performing an Albanian nationalist gesture.

    Those celebrations led to Serbia – which does not recognise Kosovo's independence – lodging a formal complaint, but Vlahovic was unwilling to stray from on-pitch matters ahead of the teams' reunion.

    "We are not interested in provocations, we are here for the football story," Vlahovic said.

    "There is nothing better and more beautiful than to win the next match. The passage to the knockout phase will mean everything to the whole nation and us."

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