Tapper's delight!Thursday, August 05, 2021
On a night when Jamaicans were expecting a smooth qualification from the heats of the women's 200m, we experienced both utter disappointment and unexpected delight.
Shericka Jackson in her 200m heat had what could only be termed as a brain fade. Conservative in her approach, she took off on a Sunday evening stroll, and didn't seem to get out of second gear. Needing a top-three finish to secure qualification, she eased up and was pipped at the line. With the slow times clocked in her heat, there would have been no chance for her to secure a fastest-loser spot.
It was a hard lesson to learn but it's a mistake she'll not repeat, and having already accepted her error, she'll be determined to set things right, starting with the relays. As it stands, it is unclear which leg she'll run, but fire personnel had better be on the ready because she'll be blazing up that track.
That disappointment, though, from a national perspective, was short-lived as the finals of the 100m hurdles followed and Jamaica had two representatives looking to secure the country's first medal at the Olympics in the event.
Megan Tapper, drawn in lane nine was seeking some form of redemption after falling and failing to complete the event at the 2019 World Championship in Doha, Qatar. The other Jamaican, Brittany Anderson, drawn in lane seven was the favoured of the two to secure a medal, having previously run her personal best 12.40 seconds in the semi-finals.
However, the peppy and personable Megan Tapper was reading from a different script. Her compatriot, Brittany Anderson, got off to a slow start and in her quest to gain on the field hit hurdles and ended up at the back of the pack. Tapper, on the other hand, got her usually brisk start and was able to hold on for the bronze medal.
If the sweep in the women's 100m was expected, Tapper's bronze medal was the total opposite, but simply delightful. It was a top-notch performance from the diminutive hurdler, who is deserving of all the plaudits that will come her way.
I could not conclude without mentioning the affability of Tapper. In her post-semi-final interview with our very own Spencer Darlington, she shared how pleasing it was to have qualified for the finals, and when asked what she will need to do to rectify the errors in her technique, she replied in jest: “You is a hurglez coach?” and then proceeded to go into the technical elements of what is required for an improved performance.
She later revealed in the post-final interview how those same technical elements led to her successful bronze medal before breaking into a Sumfest-worthy performance even Nicki Minaj would have been proud of. A job well done, Megan; you are forever in our hearts, forever in the history books.