2016 IAAF Male and Female Athletes of the Year should go to…

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Written December 1, 2016
Published December 5, 2016, in the Western Mirror

The finalists for the IAAF Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards were announced. The eventual winners will be declared over the weekend. The deserving winners should be …

The finalists for the 2016 IAAF Athletics Awards 2016 are (in alphabetical order): Men: Usain Bolt (JAM), Mo Farah (GBR) and Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) Women: Almaz Ayana (ETH), Elaine Thompson (JAM) and Anita Wlodarczyk (POL) (Photo credit: Getty Images)

The finalists for the 2016 IAAF Athletics Awards 2016 are (in alphabetical order):
Men: Usain Bolt (JAM), Mo Farah (GBR) and Wayde van Niekerk (RSA)
Women: Almaz Ayana (ETH), Elaine Thompson (JAM) and Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

By the time this is published, the world would have been told the names of the individuals who are the 2016 IAAF Male and Female Athletes of the Year. The finalists on the men’s side included our own Jamaican Usain St. Leo Bolt, Britain’s long distance king Mo Farah and the South African gazelle Wayde van Niekerk. On the women’s side, we had our own Jamaican Elaine Thompson, Ethiopia’s new long distance queen Almaz Ayana and the Polish woman of might, Anita Wlodarczyk.

Despite my Jamaican roots and prejudices, I do not believe Usain Bolt and Elaine Thompson should be the worthy winners of this year’s awards. 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

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

Track & Field superstars you will miss in Rio

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 11, 2016

For various reasons, several of Track and Field’s superstars, including world record holders and Olympic champions, will be absent from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. For the fans, their absences are both profoundly sad and unimaginable.

(Photo credit: Steven Lewarne/Flickr)

Mo Farah and Usain Bolt put on a show at the London Olympics with their performances. The expectation is for more at the Rio Olympics
(Photo credit: Steven Lewarne/Flickr)

The exhilarating track and field events at the Rio Olympics kicks off on Friday, and fans, far and wide, are looking forward to seeing the sport’s biggest stars shine brightly at this its biggest stage. Naturally, Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Ashton Eaton, and others are expected to thrill the crowd in the Maracanã Stadium with several superlative performances. Conversely, due to injury, doping suspensions and qualification failures, regrettably, a few of track and field’s superstars will be absent from this edition of the Olympic Games. Continue reading

Refugee Olympic athletes restore hope in humanity

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published August 6, 2016
Republished August 7, 2016, in the Jamaica Observer

10 refugees, from war-ravaged parts of the world, will compete together on one team at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Their stories of triumph offer hope to 65 million worldwide.

Rose Lokonyen carries the Olympic flag and leads the Refugee Olympic Team during the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Games in Rio. © UNHCR/Benjamin Loyseau

A proud Rose Lokonyen, carrying the flag, leads the other members of the Refugee Olympic Team at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympics.
© UNHCR/Benjamin Loyseau

On Friday night, during the opening ceremony of the Olympics, ten athletes walked out with the Olympic anthem playing in the background, to the joy, tears, and dreams of 65 million refugees displaced across the world. Continue reading