They made a difference

Jamaica’s non-track and field athletes brought joy without medals

BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Print this page Email A Friend!

David Weller’s 1980 cycling bronze medal is still the only medal won by Jamaica at the Olympics Games outside of track athletics despite hopes going into the Rio Games that at least one medal would be a possibility.

Jamaica had four athletes in three other disciplines other than athletics, with swimmers Alia Atkinson (in her fourth Olympics) and Timothy Wynter, while diver Yona Knight-Wisdom and gymnast Toni-Ann Williams were creating history by being the first athletes in their respective sporting disciplines to represent Jamaica at an Olympic Games.

After just missing a medal four years ago in London, placing fourth in the 100m breaststroke and establishing herself as an elite swimmer, Atkinson was expected to finish on the podium but finished eighth in the final in 1 minute 08.10 seconds, the slowest time of her three swims by almost two seconds.

Atkinson who had won a Short Course World Championships gold medal while equalling the World Record, both firsts for a black female swimmer, had placed second in her first round in 1 minute 06.72 seconds and went marginally faster in her semi-final swim – 1 minute 06.52 seconds.

The UK-based Knight-Wisdom was a dark horse after he had won a silver medal in the three metre spring board event at the diving World Cup held in Rio earlier in the year, the event that qualified him for the Olympics.

He tallied 416.55 points to comfortably qualify for the semi-finals in 11th place of the 18 qualifiers but came up an agonising eight points shy of making the 12-man final with a total of 381.40 points, basically the equivalent of a cleaner entry on one dive.

Williams was the first Jamaican in action on the second day of competition and despite a bright start on the floor exercise, finished 54th of the 59 athletes who completed the four different areas of her discipline.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon