See How Easily We Can Be Ungrateful?

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 21, 2017

Usain Bolt’s integrity and legacy are being seriously questioned by some Jamaican fans. Many have suggested that Bolt faked his injury in the 4 x 100m finals at the 2017 London World Championships.

Usain Bolt has won 14 World Championship medals and eight (8) Olympic gold medals representing Jamaica.
(Source: Carib Flame)

Several years ago, I came to the sudden realization that we, Jamaicans, can be a very ungrateful set of people. To be honest, at times, our ungratefulness knows no bounds and its stench – I have no doubt – reaches the heavens and disturbs the very nostrils of God.

Years ago, an athlete that I know very well use to compete in the 100m and the 200m. He was a relatively good sprinter, who I recall was only beaten by individuals who have gone on to represent Jamaica at the Olympics and the World Championships. One day at a local meet, while leading the 100m final with only 30 metres to the finish, he felt his hamstring tug and he shut it down. The rebuke he underwent from his colleagues and chaperons was unrelenting despite his allusion to his throbbing hamstring. All he had done before at previous meets was irrelevant and his competitive nature was being questioned. Continue reading

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Gatlin is not a two-time drug cheat

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 13, 2017

Justin Gatlin has been characterised as a two-time drug cheat by the media. Is the characterisation true and fair? What did the courts and the various organisations say about Gatlin’s case?

SAVIOUR: Usain Bolt is seen by many as the saviour of track and field.
(Photo source: Youth & Elders Blog)

Since August 2008 Usain Bolt has been portrayed as the saviour of athletics, and its villains, on the contrary, are the drug cheats who have buckled the sport to its knees with scandal after scandal. In the early 2000s several sports, including track and field, suffered recurrently at the echoes of doping.

Interestingly, the most notorious of these reverberations was the BALCO (Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative) doping scandal, which impugned the once stellar careers and performances of Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery, Barry Bonds, Dwain Chambers, and several others. However, with Bolt’s otherworldly performances as a pro starting in 2008 — backed by squeaky-clean test results — the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the media had finally found an athlete they could rely on. In the opinion of many, Bolt has lifted the sport from a period of doping abyss into an era of utopian bliss. Continue reading

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

“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

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