Up to 15 medals possible for Jamaica in London

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published July 31, 2017

Hypothetically, Jamaica could snag up to 15 medals at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. However, what is the realistic haul we should expect?

Jamaica could win up to 15 medals at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.
(Photo credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

If Track and Field was a perfect world and only Jamaicans were the stars, Jamaicans could mine up to 15 medals in London at the 2017 IAAF World Championships starting next week. The popular predictions have Jamaica winning anywhere from 9-11 medals. However, are these predictions realistic, ultra-conservative or bold? I think it is time for Track and Field’s Nostradamus to be bold and deliver his predictions.

Of the 50-plus member contingent going to London, nine athletes in all – five men and four women – are ranked in the top-6 of 10 events this year. Oh, and by the way, the prodigious Usain Bolt is not among the nine. Therefore, if we add Bolt, seeing he is an anomaly we cannot debar from any conversation – outside of the relays – there are 10 Jamaicans with a theoretical opportunity to capture 11 medals in individual events. Continue reading

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“It’s about World Youth, not about Champs”

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Broadcast on July 22, 2017, on SportsNation Live on Nationwide News Network
Published July 24, 2017

Antonio Watson’s gold medal came as a surprise to many at the 2017 IAAF World U-18 (Youth) Championships. However, his coach Machell Woolery had it all planned out a year before. 

Antonio Watson after winning the 400m at the IAAF World U18 Championships Nairobi 2017
(Getty Images)

Our Jamaican youth athletes recently returned from the IAAF World Youth U-18 Championships in Kenya with a haul of eight medals: three gold, two silver and three bronze medals. Among the medallists was Westmoreland-based Petersfield High school athlete, Antonio Watson, who without a question produced the shock performance of the Championships for Jamaica.

For those who missed the race, Antony Cox, Watson’s fellow countryman, was the favourite of the pundits to win gold in the 400 metres final. Cox had the fastest time in the world going into the final. Hardly any pundits had Watson down to win a medal much more a gold medal in the 400 metres. With Cox leading with 85 metres to go, Watson stormed from sixth place in the final 100 metres of the race to snatch gold to the surprise of his fellow runners, pundits and the commentators.

After his victory, Watson declared, “I feel very nice. The race was good – as was the field – and the crowd was vibrant.” Continue reading

Common sense returns to West Indies cricket

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published July 17, 2017

Suddenly, the Darren Bravo-CWI impasse has been resolved, the hard-line CWI selection policy looks set to be softened and it’s ‘Hakuna Matata’/’Oh Happy Days’ in West Indies cricket again. But for how long?

“Oh happy day (oh happy day) Oh happy day (oh happy day)”

It seems amicable days might be here again. Last Thursday, West Indies cricket loving fans’ hearts were jolted with a plethora of news suggesting that the various impasses between the board and its players are simply halting. Media release, after media release, and stories all pointed to a thawing of the antarctic and misanthropic relationship between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), now Cricket West Indies (CWI), and its players. If only a fool’s hope, it seems both the board and its players have discarded their mephitic differences and have joined in a warm embrace singing ‘Kumbaya, My Lord’ and ‘Hakuna Matata’. What took them so long, you may ask? How would I know?

After close to two decades of strikes, quagmires and morasses, which have left West Indies cricket at the crypt of world cricket and the heart of its fans affixed in doldrums, the fans are now being sold that they have ‘no worries for the rest of their days. It’s a problem-free philosophy.’ Who is buying this hug-me-tight moment? And how long realistically do you think it will last? Continue reading

13 or 43 Exhilarating Seconds You Need to See in London

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published July 10, 2017

Despite Usain Bolt’s swansong in London, the men’s 110m hurdles, the women’s 100m hurdles and the men’s 400m are the must-see events at the 2017  IAAF World Championships.

Usain Bolt admits he will struggle to hold back the tears when his track career comes to an end at World Championships in London.
(Credit: Press Association/PA)
(Source: The Sun)

The 2017 IAAF World Championships in London is only 27 days away and the main draw card for the event is Usain Bolt’s final race at an international meet before his retirement. Any mentions of the impending breath-taking performances of other athletes by pundits and fans are all but a whisper.

The blue riband event of every World Championships or Summer Olympics is the 100m event, which crowns its newest winner as the “fastest man in the world”. Usain Bolt has had a throttlehold on this label ritualistically now for nine years, with the exception being his false start in Daegu at the 2011 World Championships. Continue reading

Sports & Cancer: Never Give Up on Your Dreams

By Zaheer Clarke

Published July 3, 2017

Oftentimes, your love for sports can make the difficult moments in your life a little easier. For several individuals battling cancer, it’s this love and the love from their family that transform them into superheroes.

Hundreds Bid Farewell to Captain Horace Burrell
(Source: BOJTV)

Last week, the entire Jamaican football fraternity paid respects to a man, Captain Horace Burrell, whose dream united a people and made a nation proud. In 1994, Burrell marched into the presidency of the Jamaica Football Federation. His immediate dream at the time was for Jamaica to attain qualification for the 1998 World Cup in France by 1997. It was a daunting task to be achieved in three years, but it was a task that required an enchanting and stomping leader, and that he was.

The Captain, with Rene Simoes at his hip, transformed Jamaica’s outlook on its place in world football with steely performances in match after match ‘at the office’ and overseas. Surprisingly for many outside of Jamaica, Jamaica qualified for the 1998 World Cup and went on to finish 22nd out of the 32 teams that participated. Amazingly, Jamaica finished ahead of teams like the USA, Cameroon, South Africa, Scotland and others. Many will forget that in 1994, Jamaica was ranked as low as 75th in the world by FIFA. However, it was under Burrell’s tenure that Jamaica rose to its highest ranking of 27th in 1998. Continue reading