Despite Jamaica’s dream of copping two more Olympic medals in the women’s 200 metres final not materialising, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said yesterday that she was not disappointed but was proud of both athletes who finished second and fourth.
Defending champion Veronica Campbell Brown failed to successfully defend her title and was beaten into fourth place, while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce picked up a silver medal in the highly competitive race won by American Allyson Felix.
“I am proud of both Shelly and Veronica and I am sorry that Veronica did not medal, but we are proud of them, they have represented the country well,” said the prime minister, who had sat nervously watching the race, with her hands clasped under her chin as if she was praying.
Simpson Miller was among employees and invited guests gathered in the main lounge at the Office of the Prime Minister on Hope Road in Kingston to watch the finals.
However, when asked if she was worried that the country might not meet its high medal expectation, Simpson Miller said: “I am not worried, whatever happens we must never forget that Jamaica — as a result of our athletes — presently is the toast of the world and all eyes would have paused and watched this race. Why? To see how Jamaica would do, and I am sure the same will happen for the men’s 200 metres race.”
At the same time, the prime minister said she would not reveal her expectations as she supports all the athletes and did not believe it was her place to make any predictions.
Nevertheless, she said that the Jamaican anthem will definitely be played again in the London stadium.
“All the athletes have performed well and we ought to be thankful to God for where we are now, and we hope that we will be able to reap some more medal, but I am satisfied that the team that left Jamaica represented us well and we should be very proud,” Simpson Miller said. “They have demonstrated that Jamaica is not just a name, it’s a brand, and it’s the pride of people.”
She also extended her sympathies to Brigitte Foster-Hylton, who hit a hurdle in the first round of the women’s 100 metre hurdles and was unable to compete, and also to Asafa Powell, who did not place in the men’s 100 metres final due to injury.
Simpson Miller said Jamaicans should not only hail the athletes when they are successful but should also support them when they fail, as long as they give of their best.
“No matter what, we are proud Jamaicans. They are our sons and daughters and no matter what, we love them and are awaiting their return home so we can shower them with love,” she said.