Star sprinters insist there’s no rivalry between Jamaica and US
LONDON, England — One by one Jamaica's top sprinters have shot down suggestions of any rivalry between Jamaica and the United States as the long-awaited track and field section of the 27th Olympic Games gets underway at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London today. The latest Jamaican sprinters to shoot down the suggestion is two-time women's 200m champion Veronica Campbell Brown and 100m world champion Yohan Blake at a press conference on Wednesday. Since the press conference at the media day at the Jamaican camp in Birmingham and the Jamaica Olympic Association's (JOA)/Puma press conference last week to Wednesday's meeting with the Adidassponsored athletes, the question of a rivalry against the American sprinters has come up.
Campbell Brown, who will seek to become the first woman in history to win three consecutive 200m Olympic gold medals, was asked about her rivalry with American Allyson Felix, the winner of the three of the last four IAAF World Championships 200m gold medals.
“I am normally in better shape during Olympic years,” Campbell Brown responded, before adding that it was “all about preparation”.
Blake's simple response was that for him each race that includes runners from either country was “just another race against another athlete”.
Male team captain Michael Frater was the first to be asked the question in Birmingham and he said that since Jamaica had replaced the US as the top sprinting country in the world, “everyone was out to get us…we have the targets on our backs”.
Both double sprint defending champion Usain Bolt and former world record holder in the men's 100m Asafa Powell were both asked the question and both had responded in kind, saying there was no rivalry among runners from either country.