Saluting Racers Track Club and Dr Bolt
announcement on Friday of the second staging of the Racers Grand Prix is another golden feather in the cap of not only Racers Track Club, led by the indomitable and world renowned track coach, Dr the Honourable Glen Mills, it is also recognition of the international prestige and prowess of Jamaica’s athletics.
In June, the track at the National Stadium will be graced with the presence of Kenyan Mr David Rudisha, the only man to have gone below 1:42.0 seconds in the 800 metres; the recently knighted Sir Mo Farah, the most decorated British track athlete; and Mr Wayde van Niekerk, world record holder for the 4oom.
These greats, as stated by Dr Mills, will be here in Jamaica to pay tribute to Dr the Honourable Usain Bolt, who will be running his last competitive race on the terra firma of Jamaica.
The exploits on the track of Dr Bolt in Olympic Games and World Championships have been well documented to the point where he has become one of the most recognisable figures on Earth.
Prior to Dr Bolt’s major breakthrough at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Jamaica already held a special place, especially in the sprints, in world athletics. We have basked in the glory of Messrs Arthur Wint, George Rhoden, Herb McKenley, Don Quarrie, Bert Cameron, Winthrop Graham, Lennox Miller, Ms Merlene Ottey, Ms Grace Jackson, Mrs Deon Hemmings-McCatty, Mrs Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, Mrs Veronica Campbell Brown, among others who laid the platform on which Dr Bolt, Mr Asafa Powell, and Mrs Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce excelled to proclaim the dominance of the Jamaican athlete.
In all the glory reaped by Jamaica’s athletes over the last 10 years, there was one element still missing from the equation — a proper internationally recognised and endorsed track meet in Jamaica, where Jamaicans could see their star athletes perform against some of the best in the world, live and in living colour.
The bold initiative had already been taken by people like coach Mr Stephen Francis, Dr Mills and others to halt the migration of the country’s top athletes to institutions mainly in North America. With this drain effectively plugged, Jamaicans were, however, still yearning to cheer their own on home soil.
Several attempts at organising such a meet have been tried before with, at best, moderate success. Racers Track Club then initiated its Grand Prix last year and, for the first time at last, we were able to witness a well-organised, well-advertised, well-supported, and punctually run track meet featuring the likes of Mr Van Niekerk, who went on to break the 400m world record at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and Ms Shaunae Miller of The Bahamas who won gold in the 400m at the same Olympics.
That the second Racers Track Club Grand Prix is saluting the career of Dr Bolt is timely, relevant and appropriate. He has been the main cog in the wheels of the club, and they, in tandem, propelled Jamaica across our planet.
We give strong support to the second edition of the Racers Grand Prix and it is our sincerest hope that Jamaicans from all walks of live come out and give our ‘Legend’ a truly grand farewell.
Indeed, we salute Dr Bolt and the Racers Track Club on the grand occasion of his final race in Jamaica.
Let us therefore fill the National Stadium in June to show our appreciation to the man who produced some of the finest moments for Jamaica.