Actor represented Jamaica in track and field

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Friday, July 27, 2012

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FOR most Jamaicans, the name Carl Bradshaw is synonymous with the world of film. Just say José, the name of the character he played in the iconic Jamaican film The Harder They Come, and it all becomes clear.

Bradshaw has racked up an impressive list of acting credits in Jamaican films. This includes roles in Smile Orange, Dancehall Queen, Third World Cop, The Lunatic, Kla$h, Countryman, Club Paradise, The Mighty Quinn, One Love and Better Mus' Come.

But what many do not know is that Bradshaw was also an athlete. He represented Jamaica at the 1968 Central American and Caribbean Games in Cuba as a quarter-miler, and also participated in the 400-metre hurdles.

"Those days it wasn't the artificial tracks like they have now, we ran on grass or asphalt tracks. The spikes were also very different. We had the real long-nail spikes, but it was great to represent my country back then, Bradshaw told Jamaica Observer.

He noted that his time for the 400 metres hovered between the 46.05 and 45-second mark. While in the one-lap hurdles he was clocking in the region of 50-seconds.

Bradshaw would later share his skills on the track with budding athletes at Excelsior High School, in the Corporate Area, where he worked as head of the Physical Education Department.

And what are his words to the Jamaican team now in London for the Games of the 30th Olympiad?

"Concentrate on the task at hand, stand up to the test. Know that you are not just representing yourself, but also your country. Be that picture of Jamaica to the world," he said.

And what does he think of Jamaica's chances?

"Firstly, our mile-relay teams stand a good chance of a medal. But it will be difficult for the quarter-milers as that race is now a sprint and success lies in being able to pace yourself through the race. The third 100 metres is the most crucial part of the race, it is important that the athletes do not lose focus," Bradshaw advised.

Back to acting, Bradshaw has just wrapped shooting a film in Antigua.

He describes the film, titled The Skin, as a supernatural thriller which involves a female vampire.

"You can expect this film to hit Jamaican cinemas later this year, once all the celebrations surrounding Jamaica 50 are over," he said.

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