OUTSPOKEN sports medical doctor Paul Wright yesterday broadsided the country's leaders, saying that they have been doing a poor job and urged Jamaicans to get rid of them for the benefit of the country.
Dr Wright, who was a guest at the weekly Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange, framed his comments against the backdrop of the outstanding performance of Jamaica's track and field team at the just concluded 14th IAAF World Championships in Russia.
"Unless we the people get leadership right, we not going anywhere," Dr Wright said. "We have in front of us examples of leaders who do things (right), and leaders around us who do nothing but pander to the crowd and see how I can get back (in power) next time.
"Anywhere we go in the world, we are the best; it is the leaders who are causing our problems and we have to get rid of them," he asserted firmly.
The Jamaican team finished the Championships with six gold medals, two silver and a bronze to place third on the medals table behind the United States and Russia.
In fact, Jamaica ended with the same number of gold medals as the US, which has a population 100 times larger than Jamaica's, an achievement that Dr Wright described as "a tremendous performance".
"I believe leadership is what has caused track and field to reach this far. The people who were in charge of track and field understood what it needed to become great and they did it," he said.
"They didn't suffer stupidity or favouritism, they did it and we are now reaping the success for that," Dr Wright noted. "Herb McKenley and Teddy McCook, those are names that stand out for me and those guys didn't accept foolishness. (They) got rid of those who were not going to help and promoted those who were going to help and they brought in all the things we are seeing today."
Dr Wright, who is the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission's lead control officer, said the outstanding leadership displayed by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association at the World Championships was evident and pointed to the women's 4x100m relay team as an example.
The team took the gold medal on Sunday in a new national record of 41.29 seconds, which is the second fastest time in history, behind the Americans' 40.82 done at the 2012 London Olympics.
That Jamaican team, he noted, was not as talented has previous teams.
"When you look at the 4x100m women — Carrie Russell, Schillonie Calvert, Kerron Stewart and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce — they ran faster than any other Jamaican woman in the history of track and field," Dr Wright noted.
"They didn't have any issues of who must start or run last, none of that was there. They were just happy to run, and it has something to do with leadership — the group that was there in Moscow that was able to get people to accept what was going on, and it worked," he said.