Western News

Good Showing! — Western Ja's athletes shine at London Olympics

BY PAUL A REID Observer Writer reidp@Jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 16, 2012    

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LONDON, England — Athletes from western Jamaica accounted for six of the nine individual medals won by Jamaican athletes at the just concluded XXX Olympiad held in London, England.

Jamaica won 12 medals, a record number in 16 Olympics Games since they first entered in 1948, ironically also held in London.

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake each won two medals each; Veronica Campbell Brown one, while each of them also added another in the 4x100m respectively. Michael Frater, Schillonie Calvert and 400m runner Shericka Williams also won relay medals.

Based on the medal tally, if western Jamaica had competed by itself as a national, it would have finished fourth in the track and field medals tables ahead of Great Britain, Ethiopia, Kenya, Germany, Australia and France to name a few counties.

With the Olympics now over the athletes will switch their attention back to the lucrative European circuit that resumes with the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, tomorrow.

Bolt the reigning 100m and 200m champion from Beijing, China four years ago came into the Games with doubts surrounding his fitness and ability to retain his titles after surprise losses to Blake at the June JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Championships.

His performance here however not only dispelled any doubts about his ability but enhanced his claim to be a "living legend" with a series of world class displays.

He ran an Olympic Record 9.63 seconds, the second fastest time every run and only slower than his World Record 9.58 seconds to retain the 100m, winning by a full metre ahead of Blake who equalled his personal best 9.75 seconds.

Bolt then ran a season's best and World Leading 19.32 seconds slowing down at the end, tied for fourth fastest all time with American Michael Johnson to win the 200m again ahead of Blake and Warren Weir who has Trelawny roots.

The former William Knibb Memorial runner could have gone faster, telling reporters afterwards he felt "tightness" in his back but had enough of a lead to slow down and still beat Blake who ran a season's best 19.44 seconds, while Weir continued to impress with a massive personal best 19.84 seconds, a drop of .15 seconds from his previous best that he did at Trials.

Bolt, Blake and Frater along with Nesta Carter then closed the show with their own fireworks, a World Record 36.84 seconds in the men's 4x100 relay, lowering the 37.04 seconds they set at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea last year.

While not at her best, Campbell Brown was still a factor, taking the bronze medals in the women's 100m in a season best 10.81 seconds but managed only fourth in the 200m as she attempted to created history by being the only woman to win three consecutive Olympic Games 200m gold medals.

She was however part of the quartet of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart that ran a National Record 41.41 seconds for the silver in the 4x100m.

Calvert, the former Anchovy High runner who transferred to Holmwood Technical, ran the third leg in the heats of the women's relay as Jamaica finished second to Ukraine to advance to the final and also got a medal.

Williams, the former St Elizabeth Technical athlete who won silver in the 400m in Beijing and at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany in 2009 was part of the women's 4x400m team that won the bronze medal behind the USA and Russia.





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