TAKEAWAY NACAC Championships 2018

Shanieka Ricketts wins NACAC triple jump gold

The North American, Central American, and Caribbean Championships held in Toronto August 10 – 12, 2018 were from my observation, too small an International group of Athletes to engender significant predictions for Olympics 2020. Regardless, Team Jamaica performance is worthy of Post event commentary.

It did not appear that all Member Countries participated. There were some good performances but overall un-impressive. Top tier athletes were absent. Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod were not present or at least I saw or heard nothing to the contrary. According to an unofficial count, 369 athletes from 31 countries participated. See the list below, which should encourage a Geography lesson.

Team Jamaica exhibited significant improvement in Field events. I am impressed with the wealth of Talent. The Team came away with 21 medals, seven gold, nine silver, and five bronze.

Shanieka Ricketts, Fedrick Dacres, Traves Smikle, Hansle Parchment, Danielle Williams, Natoya Goule, Tyquendo Tracey, Janieve Russell, Annsert Whyte, Demish Gaye, and Shericka Jackson were definite standouts.

Shanieka Ricketts has stepped up her Game. She won gold in the Triple Jump. That will encourage Male athletes to step up. Tisanna Hickling won bronze in Long Jump. Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle  continue to perform at a high level in Discus. O’Dayne Richards won bronze in the Shot Put. Tajay Gayle won silver in Long Jump. Ramone Bailey won bronze in Long Jump.

The Hurdles event has caught on. Performance has improved exponentially. It can only get better and competition is about to get fierce for both Men and Women. Hansle Parchment won gold in the 110M hurdles. Danielle Williams won silver in the Women’s 100 meters hurdles. Janieve Russell won silver in the 400M hurdles. Annsert Whyte won silver in the 400 M Hurdles.

Natoya Goule won silver in the Women’s 800 meters. It is refreshing to see an athlete step away and try to establish a new frontier. Natoya Goule is someone to keep an eye on moving forward. Shericka Jackson continues to shine and won gold in the 200M. She ran well as the anchor for Women’s 4 × 100 meters relay quartet. I applaud her stellar performance.

Tyquendo Tracey won gold in the 100M. Nigel Ellis won bronze in the 200 M. Jonielle Smith won silver in the 100M. Demish Gaye won gold in the 400M. Fitzroy Dunkley won bronze in the 400M. Stephenie Ann McPherson won gold in the 400M. Women’s 4 × 100 meters relay quartet (Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jura Levy, Jonielle Smith, and Shericka Jackson) won silver. Women’s 4 × 400 meters relay quartet (Stephenie Ann McPherson, Tiffany James, Anastasia Le-Roy, and Christine Day) won silver.

There is much to take away from the performances at NACAC Championships 2018. The coach or coaches responsible for training the Women’s 4 × 400 meters relay team is doing a great job. Over the years that quartet, mix or match, has been competitive or dominant. Perhaps, they should be responsible for recruiting Male athletes to run the 400M exclusively.

Until there is discovery, nurturing, and development of at least three (3) consistent 400M sprinters, running less than 45.0, lack of significant performance in the Men’s 400M race will be obvious. Excellent performance in the 400M event will require men who can consistently run less than 45.0 and women who can consistently run less than 50.0 seconds for the event.

This is a challenge. The 400M race is the most exhausting of the sprints. Demish Gaye won gold in the 400M with a time of 45.47 and Fitzroy Dunkley won bronze in the 400M with a time of 45.76. Both times are respectable but not Olympics 2020 material.  In Olympics 2020, the 400 M races to date will be a battle between Africans, Americans, and Bahamians. There is still time to upset that plan.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is back. I was certain she would retire but I was incorrect. Obviously, she missed the stage. Her early performances look good but that amounts to burning off energy. History proves that this welcome back period is short lived. Perhaps she will make it to Olympics 2020. I can argue that she might not make Team Jamaica for Olympics 2020. Team Jamaica Track and Field landscape is poised for a changing of the Guard, if not before Olympics 2020, certainly immediately after.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has fans but I think the results of Olympics 2016 say a lot. We all hoped that she had won the Olympics 100M a third consecutive time but that did not happen. She cannot overcome that demon. Hypothetically, if she wins Olympics 100M in 2020 it will not have the same luster.

In addition, Briana Williams, Brianna Lyston, Elaine Thompson, Jonielle Smith, and others will have much to say about her success. Most athletes wait too late to retire. Most recent the Legend Usain Bolt. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce because of her competitive spirit will do the same. Until then we will support her 100 Percent.

Team Jamaica takeaways and grade by Event based on expectations Olympics 2020:

Men:

Event     Analysis                     Grade

100 M – Need Improvement – C

200 M – Need Improvement – C

400 M – Need Improvement – C

800 M – Need much Improvement – D

1500 M– Need much Improvement – D

Long Jump – Need Improvement – B

Triple Jump – Need much Improvement – D

High Jump – Need much Improvement – F

Hurdles 110 M – Excellent – A+

Hurdles 400 M – Excellent – A

Discus – Excellent – A+

Shot Put – Good – B

Javelin – Need much Improvement – F

4 × 100 meters relay – Need Improvement – C

4 × 400 meters relay – Need Improvement – C

Team Jamaica takeaways and grade by Event based on expectations Olympics 2020:

Women:

Event     Analysis                     Grade

100 M – Need Improvement – C

200 M – Need Improvement – C

400 M – Need Improvement – B

800 M – Excellent – A

1500 M – Need much Improvement – D

Long Jump – Need Improvement – B

Triple Jump – Excellent – A+

High Jump – Need much Improvement – F

Hurdles 100 M – Excellent – A+

Hurdles 400 M – Excellent – A

Discus – Need much Improvement – D

Shot Put – Need much Improvement – D

Javelin – Need much Improvement – F

4 × 100 meters relay – Excellent – A+

4 × 400 meters relay – Excellent – A+

Team Jamaica is looking good leading up to Olympics 2020. Women are doing better than Men. Field events now have new Life.

LFT

SHERICKA JACKSON-NACAC

NORTH KOREA – POST SUMMIT

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The summit in Singapore was a stunning surprise, perhaps too much so. Months later reality has set in or Kim jong Un has come to his senses. Maybe “The KIM” heard, deduced enough, and thinks he has a good preview of the adversary.

Posted account of destruction of nuclear installations after the summit may have been a smoke screen. What is beyond the apparent? Certainly, military intelligence should perceive it accordingly. Consistent with that realization, now what.

Will there be a follow up summit. If so, when, where, and why. Will the summit be to rehash the same verbiage, or for POTUS to inquire which word was misunderstood. Sometimes Leaders enter a room and discuss but after leaving, it is apparent that something was lost in the translation or interpretation. Was it because there was an I before an E or E before an I. Something is contributing to exhibiting misunderstandings or seeming disconnecting.

North Korea could not develop nuclear weapons without assistance. POTUS should press the Intelligence community to find out who provided assistance and are they still. Was it China, Russia, or Iran and if not who. Continue with the sanctions and inventory of receipt of goods. Find out through sanctions where from and what goods are arriving. Is it Jelly in the bottle or grey poupon dijon mustard? Is it water in the container or Atomic Isotopes?

The goal is to denuclearize North Korea and prevent use of such capacity to pressure South Korea into unifying the Korean peninsula on their terms. Sanctions will shed light on North Korea intentions. Action delayed is resolution denied.

Some in the International Community would like to imagine there is a diplomatic end to this conflict. That is a noble idea; now imagine there is no Western Civilization. Imagine there are no Olympics in Japan in 2020 or imagine you are not breathing.

Kim jong Un is out of show time. He is at the action stage. “The KIM” is at the point of no return. Saving face and leadership of the rogue regime is at stake. The International Community should be preparing for that moment. As sure as the sun shines tomorrow, he will get there.

The Hydrogen bomb is not an asset “The KIM” should be allowed to have. Therefore, the international community is witness to the arrival of Kim jong Un to the Unacceptable Zone. Hereafter we could be crossing over to the twilight zone. Diplomacy has yet to prove that it is an option. That horse appears to have left the Barn with no intention of returning, anytime soon.

Nuclear Technology is in the hands of the wrong person. Country could take away the ability to use Nuclear Technology but that might require a well-coordinated clandestine exercise. North Korea is a run-away child running wild in search of attention, which undoubtedly becomes a distraction from more important matters. North Korea nuclear ability must be destroyed. North Korea is noise in a quiet zone.

It is time to begin the scale back of proliferation. North Korea chose to be the start point. You have to start somewhere if there is any hope of maintaining civilization. As long as my Brothers and Cousins do not blink too long, the goal will be accomplished – “Stop Nuclear Proliferation” and the provocateurs who promote.

North Korea is interested in unifying the Korean peninsula. The only problem is a North lead unification with Communist ideals will be unacceptable to an International Community led by the USA. On the other hand if the unification of said peninsula is promoted by the South Koreans, promising a Republic political system, that might be an action acceptable by the World community. Course this is assuming that South Koreans are interested in unification, though you will admit that would be an ideal situation.

Which kind of unification would you prefer? Would you prefer a Korean Peninsula that looks more like North Korea or South Korea? In many ways the question is the equivalent of asking, if there was no day or night, which would you prefer to be right. North Korea has an opportunity to take POTUS country upgrade offer but will “The Kim”, accept.

Most Historians knew this time would come. Unfortunately, the eventuality is harder than anticipated because of the ineptitude of the two previous Administrations. Liberals and Regressive – alias Progressives, would like to bury their heads in the sand like Ostriches and hope the problem will depart. Unfortunately, that movie will not be coming to the Political Theater anytime soon. The best POTUS can hope for is that someone is ready to go to the Gym and engage in a clandestine exercise.

Diplomacy has not worked for 65 years. On what basis will it work now? It could get ugly but not any uglier than it will look if Kim jong Un is allowed to carry out his obsession of destroying South Korea, Japan, and the United States. This confrontation could be the prelude to World War III but that war is years in the future. A United States North Korea confrontation is several years late but it is better to be late than never. Country is up close and personal with never and that has to be prevented.

These moments try men soul. It comes when Country has important things to address and no one wants Military confrontation. However, the “way forward” is clear and Country has to attend to details. The cards are in hand, both sides need a card, two cards are on the table and face down. Are the faces of the cards Eagle or Red Star?

What will the Korean Peninsula look like in 2020? No one knows but 2020 will be a pivotal year in World History. There is a time to cry, a time to Laugh, a time to talk, and a time to fight. The challenge is knowing when to do each. As my Mentor Winston Churchill would say, Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. It is time for the Peninsula to have some Positive vibrations.

LFT

STATE OF KOREAN CONFLICT - MODIFIED