The list of Countries scheduled to participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, tell a story. Well, at least to a History buff. Do you reflect on the significance of that list? Probably not but this is a list of Countries that remain loyal to England. However, this is not a moment to dwell on that History. The focus is Jamaica consistent with Track and Field expectations for the Games in Australia April 4th to April 15th, 2018.
Previously I mentioned take away from world championships 2017. I said that Nathon Allen emerged as the class of the Jamaican 400 M pool of athletes when he ran 44.19. Demish Gaye ran 44.55, which is respectable time for the 400 M. Both athletes had some work to do but they are capable.
Omar McLeod continues to impress. His performances created renewed interest in the 110 M Hurdles. Until Omar is defeated at the Olympics or does not compete in the Finals in 2020, he owns that event. Elaine Thompson stumbled out of the blocks and as such had a minor slip in her career. It did not appear to be serious. Until Elaine is defeated at the Olympics or does not compete in the Finals in 2020, she will be the favorite in the 100M and 200M events. However, it is time to focus on Commonwealth Games April 4th to April 15th, 2018. So “Wah Gwaan” Jamaica.
The Holidays are over and now it is time to run off the libation. Amidst the expected preparations, there is talk that some Jamaican athletes have or considering switching allegiance. I take exception to the characterization that because Winston Barnes, Jacques Harvey, Shericka Williams, Andrew Fisher, and Kemarley Brown are considering taking their talent elsewhere that they are switching allegiance. This is an amazing moment. If you recall in a previous article I said the following:
“The Era of Speed Merchants has begun. Men and Women who can run fast become Speed Merchants. Equally important, persons will migrate and some will change Nationality in pursuit of their Sprint dream. They will become Track and Field Mercenaries.
I was the one in 2006 who dared to stake claim regarding the potential, capabilities, and abilities of the Jamaican Track and Field athlete. Therefore, since Jamaica might only select three or four persons to represent the Nation for each event, there will be individuals who will feel disenfranchised. As a result, Athletes will seek inclusion by migrating and Countries will recruit them in search of Track and Field stardom. Countries will recruit Speed Merchants. Every Nation will seek strong representation in the Men and Women sprints at World Events.
There will be an Olympics in this Century, sooner than later, where all Eight (8) or Nine (9) Finalist in the Men 100 M will be of Jamaican extract of one form or another. They will be Jamaican by birth or of Jamaican parentage and representing multiple countries including Jamaica. Take note that Jessica Ennis is of Jamaican parentage.
If all Eight (8) or Nine (9) men in an Olympics 100 m Final are of Jamaican extract representing multiple countries and Jamaica is not represented, that would be tragic for the JAAA but also Jamaica. However, the preferred scenario will be multiple countries represented including Jamaica. Do not assume that the Athlete representing Jamaica will win.” Remember Ben Johnson is Jamaican but he represented Canada. Linford Christie is Jamaican but he represented Great Britain.
What are the expectations for the 2018 Commonwealth Games? Who are the athletes on the Track and in the Field that will represent the Sprint Nation? Where is Martin Manley? Excluding Visa issues, I expect all athletes from Olympics 2016 to represent the nation, except Usain and Shelly-Ann.
This is definitely time for Yohan Blake to perform at his best in the 100M and 200M. With Usain Bolt Retired, the stage is set for Yohan to have solid performances in the Commonwealth Games 2018 and Olympics 2020. Unless, Zharnel Hughes is the real deal. I do not think he is but I will keep watching. Seems to me Zharnel was leaning for the tape and not running through it in his face-to-face with Yohan. Akeem Bloomfield is someone to watch in the 200M and 400M assuming he can take his game outdoors.
On the Female side, I have not heard much beyond Elaine Thompson but I anticipate preparation and appearances from Veronica Campbell-Brown, Kerron Stewart, Aleen Bailey, and Sherone Simpson. Unless someone or all has retired without my knowledge, I anticipate solid representation on the Track and in the Field.
I am expecting improvement in the Field events such as Long Jump, Triple Jump (Hop, Skip, and Jump), Javelin, Discus, Shot Put, Hammer throw, and High Jump. I anticipate Shardia Lawrence will continue improving in the Long and Triple Jump. There is renewed interest in the Field events and the performance of the youngsters is encouraging. Will it translate into Podium appearances at the Commonwealth Games April 4th to April 15th, 2018? I hope there are Podium appearances from the Group of athletes below.
MALE: Everton Clarke, Kimmari Roach, Omar McLeod, Javon Francis, Steven Gayle,Kemoy Campbell, Ronald Levy, Demar Forbes, Clive Pullen, O’Dayne Richards,
Andre Clarke, Jermaine Gayle, Peter Matthews, and Rusheen McDonald
FEMALE:Remona Burchell, Gayon Evans, Elaine Thompson, Dominique Blake,Tovea Jenkins, Stephanie-Ann McPherson, Natoya Goule, Aisha Praught, Rushell Burton, Jeanine Williams, Shanieka Rickets, Kimberly Williams, Daniel Thomas-Dodd, Tiffany James, and Anastasia Leroy.
Overall, even if the medal count is not high, I expect the athletes to come away with an analysis of what will be required to do well in Olympics 2020. Frankly, the Olympics are the stage and all other Athletic events are mere actors.