'Delay is not denial'


'Delay is not denial'

Trio left glum, but agrees with Olympic Games delay

Senior staff reporter

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Jamaica's reigning Olympic champions Elaine Thompson-Herah and Omar McLeod along with rising star Briana Williams were left disappointed but philosophical after it was announced that the Olympic Games are postponed until 2021.

The 27-year-old Thompson-Herah who won both the 100m and 200m at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil and became the first woman to win the rare sprint double in 28 years, said she was really looking forward to the Olympic Games.

“I was looking forward to this year's Olympics in Tokyo. We all are facing this global pandemic, but we as athletes still have to keep training no matter what,” said Thompson-Herah.

“We can only hope for the best. Delay is not denial,” she added.

Thompson-Herah, who has been struggling with injuries over the last few years, said she was in “good condition and getting ready for a good season”.

She was down to compete at the Grenada Invitational on April 4 before that, too, was postponed.

McLeod, who won the 2016 Rio Olympic Games' gold medal in the 110m hurdles, was one of three individual gold medallists for Jamaica alongside Thompson-Herah and the legendary Usain Bolt, who won three gold medals.

Although disappointed, the outspoken McLeod agreed with the decision.

“I am devastated and truly feel for all us athletes who have been working tirelessly to accomplish our goals we've set for this year. One of those common goals is obviously the Olympic Games,” said McLeod.

“I do understand though that our health comes first and we cannot be naive, thinking that this coronavirus pandemic isn't something serious,” he added.

“So, personally, I do believe that postponing the Games to 2021 is the best solution for all athletes. We just have to stay motivated and keep aspiring. God blesses and washes your hands,” he continued.

The talented athlete won the 110m hurdles in 13.05 seconds to become Jamaica's first male Olympic Games champion in the event.

He is Jamaica's national record holder with 12.90 seconds set in 2017, and has won every major event on the calendar.

He was National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Indoor champion in 2014 and the NCAA Outdoor champion in 2015, then after he went professional he won the 2016 Olympic Games and followed that up with triumph at the 2017 World Championships in London.

The 25-year-old McLeod, who has a personal best of 9.99 seconds over the 100m, was the lead-off runner on Jamaica's ill-fated 4x100m relay team at the 2017 London World Championships which ended with anchor runner Bolt tumbling to the turf injured.

Meanwhile, young Williams, who celebrated her 18th birthday on Sunday, said the “postponement of the Olympics is a great decision because it's for our health and safety”.

“I've been looking forward to making the team for Tokyo 2020 with all the hard work I've put in and the daily struggles that all of us athletes have to face. But these things happen for a reason. We just have to keep safe and take care of ourselves,” said Williams.

The Florida-based Williams is the world age-15 record holder and the Jamaican Junior (Under-20) record holder in both the women's 100m and 200m.

In 2018, the then 16-year-old won the sprint double at the World Under-20 Championships in Finland and a year after dominated the Carifta Games capturing three gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay.

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 http://bit.ly/epaperlive




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: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

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

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