Track & Field superstars that impressed in Rio

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 29, 2016

Several of Track and Field’s superstars delivered spellbinding feats, including world record performances, at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. For many sporting fans, their performances were the highlight of the Olympic Games.

Usain Bolt (right) and Mo Farah (left) are two of track and field’s biggest stars. (Photo credit: PA)

Indisputably, track and field is the cornerstone of every summer Olympics and its megastars are the pillars of the Games. Truthfully, several track and field megastars – including world record holders and Olympic champions – were absent from Rio this year due to injury, doping suspensions and qualification failures. Nevertheless, the sport’s biggest stars in Rio shone brightly at this the biggest stage. Continue reading

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Eight Non-Jamaicans (Foreigners) that wowed us in Rio

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published on August 28, 2016

Several athletes returned astonishing performances at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Here are a few of the memorable ones.

South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk takes the lead in the men’s 400-metre final at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo credit: AP Photo/David Goldman

Indisputably, Jamaicans were the toast of the 2016 Olympics with Usain St. Leo Bolt and Elaine Thompson being dubbed respectively ‘the fastest man and woman in the world’. Bolt’s triple-triple, as many have called it, was the expectation before the Games and he did not disappoint. Similarly, Elaine’s double in the 100m and 200m, as forecasted, has propelled her to superstar status. Nonetheless, several non-Jamaicans had otherworldly performances at the Olympics that gave the fans goosebumps. Continue reading

One of Jamaica’s greatest nights reduced to bigotry

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 23, 2016, in the Jamaica Observer

On one of the greatest nights in Jamaica’s athletic history, the good, sad, and utterly despicable elements of the human psyche were fully or secretly displayed on the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

Jamaicans in Half-Way-Tree square celebrate the successes in the recent Rio Olympics. (Kenyon Hemans)

Jamaicans in Half-Way-Tree square celebrate the successes in the recent Rio Olympics.
(Kenyon Hemans/Jamaica Observer)

On the night of August 16, 2016, I went to my sister’s house to pick up my four-year-old daughter and saw history for Jamaica being made. Twenty-two-year-old Omar McLeod – and Jamaica – won Olympic gold for the first time in the 110m hurdles.

My daughter was beaming with pride as she raced around, with her index finger pointing to the sky, shouting, “Jamaica! Jamaica! Jamaica land we love!” She was like an athlete doing numerous victory laps around the 400m track at the Olympic stadium, albeit, her 400m track was situated around her aunt’s coffee table. Continue reading

The World Belongs to Bolt, He’s a Godsend

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published on August 22, 2016

A recollection of the prophetic words spoken by Steve Cram, Paul Dickenson and Michael Johnson after Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record at the 2009 World Championships and how he has lived up to them and more.

 

The world 100m final. Set! (Pop! The gun fires) They get away first time. Tyson Gay right alongside Usain Bolt. But here he goes, streaking away already. It’s Bolt all the way, he’s looking around at Gay. Watch the clock! It’s gold for Bolt! And again! He’s done it again! A new world record for Usain Bolt! They say lightning doesn’t strike twice. Can you believe it? He is flying! The world belongs to Bolt! Berlin belongs to Bolt! 9.58! Stunning! Absolutely stunning!

“He (Bolt) writes his own history with every stride that he takes.”

– Steve Cram

Continue reading

If only the West Indies team was picked to optimize players’ strengths

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 15, 2016

Carlos Brathwaite tops the batting averages in the West Indies team, but he was dropped for the Sabina Test match. The selectors need to pick the players based on their demonstrated strengths.

carlos-brathwaite

Carlos Brathwaite tops the batting averages in the West Indies team but he has been dropped.
(Photo credit: Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

A tall, lissome and athletic 17-year-old young man from Chelsea Road in Bay Land, Barbados was once picked as a slow bowler to represent the West Indies Test team. By today’s standards, he would have been thought too young to have a glass of red wine much less be handed a red ball to toss at batsmen in international cricket. Unsurprisingly, in his first match at Sabina Park, like most slow bowlers, he was placed in the lower order to bat, specifically at number nine in the lineup. At the end of a career spanning 18 years for West Indies, this young man played 93 matches in all. Interestingly, that first match turned out to be the first and last match he’d bat that low in the order or be dubbed – strictly – a slow bowler.

Several players start their cricket careers, whether it be in high school, in the domestic leagues or in international cricket, in a particular role and eventually find out that their strengths lie elsewhere. Continue reading