Jamaica spreading its Men’s 100m talent across the globe

By PAUL A REID Observer writer

Saturday, August 13, 2016

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Three men will line up in the black green and gold of the Jamaican colours for the first round of the 100m on today’s second day of track and field at the XXXI Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the country is expecting at least one medal, the gold from Usain Bolt who will be chasing an unprecedented third straight title in one of the most highly anticipated events of the entire three weeks.


While only a maximum three athletes can represent any one country at the Games, no fewer than nine of the 85 men in the event will have direct genetic links to the sprint capital of the world, with at least another two being part of relay squads.


Bolt, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade will be the runners who will compete under the Jamaica flag and have qualified for the first round proper.


Both runners who will represent Bahrain — Kemarley Brown and Andrew Fisher were only cleared by the IAAF to run for the oil-rich middle eastern country last month; Jak Ali Harvey (formerly Jacques Harvey) who will wear the colours of Turkey, Japan’s Asuka Antonio ‘Aska’ Cambridge and Canada’s Akeem Haynes were all born in Jamaica.


Emre Zafer Barnes (formerly Winston Barnes) who will run on the Turkish 4x100m relay team was also born in Jamaica. Aaron Brown, who will run the 100m for Canada, and a third member of their sprint relay squad, Brendan Rodney, all have at least one Jamaican parent.


Both Brown and Fisher competed for St Elizabeth Technical High School after transferring from Green Island High and Albert Town High, respectively, and were part of the University of Technology, Jamaica team last year when they both applied for citizenship in Bahrain.


Harvey attended both Wolmer’s Boys’ and Rusea’s High schools, while Barnes was a standout while attending Jamaica College and came within a hair’s breadth of making the Jamaica team to the 2008 Olympic Games.


Haynes, who is competing at his second Olympic Games, was born in Jamaica and lived here until he was seven years old before migrating with his mother, Carlene Smith.


Brown, who has represented the North American country at every level in both the 100m and 200m, and Rodney both have Jamaica parents, while Cambridge was born in Jamaica to a Jamaican father and Japanese mother.

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