MOSCOW, Russia — No one could blame 400m hurdler Kaliese Spencer if she was the first person on a flight out of Moscow, even before the end of the 14th IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium, yesterday.
After the week she has had, no one could question a mad dash to any of the three international airports that serve the city, and her jumping on the first available flight as long as it gets out of the Russian capital in a rush.
The three-time IAAF Diamond League winner was disqualified after winning her first round heat in the 400m hurdles on Monday's third day of the championships.
Four days later, after a solid leg on the women's 4x400m relay team in the heat, the Jamaican team was thrown out for yet another rule infringement. Lead-off runner Rosemarie Whyte ran on the line and into the lane to her left on the curve, which according to the rules, gave her an unfair advantage.
It could be argued that these two unfortunate incidents cost Jamaica two medals, at least two bronze medals as despite her fourth place finishes at the last three major championships, Spencer looked ready to take her place on the podium while the women's 4x400m team were legitimate medal contenders.
These were just two of a series of misfortunes and downright bad luck that affected the Jamaican team in Moscow, and despite the brilliance of Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and young Javon Francis on the anchor leg of the men's 4x400m team in the final, the tally could have been more.
After an injury kept him out of competition for three months, Olympic Games bronze medallist Hansle Parchment was a long shot for the podium here, but picked up a cramp in the semi-finals of the men's 110m hurdles after just scraping through the first round as one of the fastest losers.
Parchment, along with finalist Andrew Riley, represents a bright future for Jamaican men sprint hurdling, stayed on the track for several minutes after the race ended but one got the feeling that the UWI-Mona final-year student will find a way to make this setback work for him.
Injuries are part of the sport but can be devastating after athletes have honed their bodies for months and even years in preparation for their moment in the spotlight, but then have it snatched away by injuries.
Shot-putter Raymond Brown has toiled in relative obscurity for years, changing clubs and coaches a few time and finally got to the big times when he tore ligaments in his right forearm, his throwing hand while warming up. It doesn't get any worse than that.
Brown would not give up, however, and despite the pain made his way to the throwing circle to see if he could at least take one shot at the event he had worked so hard for.
A slimmed down Anniesha McLaughlin looked set for a place in the finals of the women's 200m after breezing through the first round, when she pulled a hamstring muscle after being well-placed in the semi-finals.
Spare a thought for Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade, Stephenie McPherson and Kimberly Williams who all finished in the worst position for any athlete, fourth place, all by the tiniest of margins.
Ashmeade continues to come up just short on the big stage, beaten out of the bronze medal by American Curtis Mitchell by one-hundredth of a second after being given fifth place in the 100m final days earlier, despite running the same time as Jamaican teammate Bailey-Cole, who was himself looking good for a medal before he got beaten by another teammate, Nesta Carter.
McPherson, who was making a national team at any level for the first time, was passed late in the women's 400m final by Russian home girl Antonina Krivoshapka to take the bronze.
Williams, who is slowly establishing herself as an elite triple jumper, lost the bronze by three centimetres despite jumping a personal best 14.62m.