COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2018

commonwealth games 2018 logo

 

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.

LFT

JAMAICANFLAG WAVING

ASSAULT ON CIVILITY III

ASSAULT WEAPONS TOP AC

Sale of assault weapons must be regulated. A “need to have” system must be developed. Otherwise, we will continue to have incidents like Virginia Tech, the Colorado Theater, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Orlando nightclub, Las Vegas massacre, and Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

In the Military, you are not issued certain weapons unless your Military Occupational Specialty requires it. An Assault Weapon compared to a handgun, is the equivalent of purchasing a car when you only need a Wagon wheel. There is no point in purchasing a car if you are not going to drive it. In the same token, there is no point in purchasing an Assault Weapon if you are not planning to shoot it. Yes, you can go to the range but some persons who purchase Assault weapons are not interested in silhouettes or pop up targets. People who purchase Assault weapons are interested in shooting an animal or another human being.

I am appalled that individuals can purchase Assault weapons in a civilized setting without justifiable reasons. How is it possible for it to be legal to sell Assault weapons in a civilize Country? We need to stop selling Assault weapons. This is not a war Zone. Many of the idiots buying weapons would not serve a day in the military because they are physically or mentally incapable or just plain cowards. Unfortunately, those people commit heinous acts.

Except in the unusual situation where someone snaps from imminent danger, there is no understanding use of an Assault weapon in a civilized setting. What happened in Sandy Hook, the Orlando nightclub, Las Vegas, and now Stoneman Douglas High School is Barbaric.

Sales of Assault weapons are not good for the civil health of our society. Gun shops are all about the money. Once again, greed rears its ugly head similar to those who took money to teach individuals how to fly airplanes, even after realizing that said trainees had no interest in learning how to Land. Greed got us into a financial crisis. Greed from the sale of Assault Weapons will create mayhem in our society. We have to regulate the sale of assault weapons. Our Society and way of Life is in danger of falling off the proverbial Cliff.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy and other school shootings, there is talk about arming teachers. That is a bad, ridiculous, and ludicrous idea. Arming teachers is an idea that has permanent residency in the preposterous.

The simple solution is to take some of that ridiculous money Superintendents of the schools make and install cameras at all corners. In addition, put a security detail together with qualified Guards and CCTV. Use common sense and security measures to ensure that unauthorized persons do not gain access to said premises. Maintenance of such a system will require two shifts of Guards. The second shift on duty until all school personnel leave each day. The second Amendment is alive and well but it is time to restrict or prohibit the sale of assault weapons. Neighborhood facilities are not war zones.

LFT

ASSAULT WEAPONS BOTTOM1

BLACKS AND BENEFITS FROM POLITICAL PARTIES

BLACKS PICKING COTTON

Since the Presidential election of 2016, there has been much talk about what it means to be Republican or Democrat. As a result, I decided to do some research specifically as it pertains to Blacks in Country.

Given the level of discord, acrimony, and in some cases hate, I decided to do some research on Politics in Country and seek to discover why Blacks seem obligated to support the Democratic Party. Simultaneously, I wanted to see if Blacks support of the Democratic Party was legitimate.

My findings indicate that Blacks support of the Democratic Party is illegitimate and misguided. Here are some of the facts gathered from my research.

  • The Republican Party was established to oppose slavery. The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passed in 1865 with 100% Republican and only 23% Democratic Party support.

  • The Republican Party wanted to end slavery and Grant freed Blacks citizenship. The Democratic Party opposed.

  • Lincoln Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was pro-Union but also a pro-slavery Democrat. After Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson opposed Republican Party efforts to recognize the civil rights of Blacks.

  • The 14th Amendment, giving citizenship to Blacks, passed in 1868 with 94% Republican and 0% Democratic Party support.

  • The 15th Amendment, the right to vote, passed in 1870 with 100% Republican and 0% Democratic Party support.

  • The Ku Klux Klan was an arm of the Southern Democratic Party. Its mission was to terrorize Blacks and “nigger-loving” Republicans who sympathized with them.

  • In the 1950s, President Eisenhower, a Republican, integrated the US military and promoted civil rights for minorities. Eisenhower was responsible for the development of the Highway System, which literally developed paths for Blacks to relocate.

  • President Eisenhower’s primary opponent on civil rights prior to 1957 was Lyndon Baines Johnson, then the Democratic Senate Majority Leader.

  • In the 1960’s the Democratic Party engineered a subversive and clandestine strategy to get blacks dependent on government to secure their votes. Formally known as Welfare.

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported In the House of Representatives by 80 percent Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats. In the Senate, by 82 percent Republicans and 69 percent Democrats.

  • Credit has to be given to the Republican Party for the Civil Rights Act of 1968, the Fair Housing Act, providing for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion, or national origin.

Barry Goldwater’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 attracted some racist Democrats to the Republican Party. However, Goldwater was not a racist or at least not an overt racist like many Democrats of the time, such as George Wallace and Bull Connor. He publicly supported racial equality and his opposition to the 1964 Act was consistent with his support of states rights. Regardless, his views were inconsistent with the mainstream, and he lost the 1964 Presidential election to LBJ in a landslide.

Goldwater’s opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act provided liberals an opening to characterize the Republican Party as racist. They have echoed that narrative since. That is unsubstantiated myth. Every political party has its racists.

The liberal media narrative that Republicans are more racist than Democrats is unsubstantiated innuendo and assertions. It is a classic example of a Lie that becomes true, simply by repeating it many times. Sadly, that has become a tactic used by Politicians. In essence, Politicians believe that if they tell you we are Angels numerous times, then you will start believing.

In the 1960s, the Democratic Party changed its strategy in dealing with Black Americans. Thanks to Republican initiatives on civil rights, blatant racial oppression was no longer a viable political option. Whereas before that time Southern Democrats had overtly and proudly segregated and terrorized blacks, the national Democratic Party decided to be subtle and get them dependent on government as much as possible. As LBJ so elegantly put it, “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” At the same time, the Democrats started a campaign of lies and innuendo, falsely equating any opposition to their Welfare State with racism.

From a political perspective, the Democratic Party strategy of black dependency has been extremely effective. Lyndon Baines Johnson knew exactly what he was doing. Black Americans routinely voted well over 90 percent Democratic for fear that Republicans would cut their government benefits and welfare programs. Fact is before LBJ’s Great Society welfare programs, the black illegitimacy rate was about 23 percent, but it tripled to about 72 percent by the 1970s. It was a Democrat as President in the 1990’s, who began the dismantling of the Welfare program. That certainly threw a monkey wrench at the buzzword “Democracy” and it was probably about the time that the Democratic Party realized that with an influx of new immigrants they might not need a majority of the Black vote to win Elections.

Liberal Democrats ran most major American city governments for decades, and most of those cities have large black sections that are essentially dysfunctional ghettos. With Gangs and drug dealers, with burned out homes on every block in some areas, they destroyed cities like Detroit and Chicago. The land values are so low due to crime, blight, and lack of economic opportunity that condemned homes are not even worth rebuilding. Who wants to build a home in an Urban War Zone? Yet Blacks continue to elect liberal Democrats and blame presumed “racist” Republicans for their problems.

A convincing argument can also be made, that the Democratic Party support for affirmative action is racist. Affirmative action is the antithesis of Martin Luther King’s dream of a Color-Blind society. Not only is it “reverse racism,” but the premise is that Black Americans are incapable of competing in the free market on a level playing field. It is predicated on the notion of white supremacy, though “benevolent”, rather than the openly hostile white supremacy of the pre-1960s Democratic Party. My issue with Affirmative action has always been, yes, it is great to get me into an “Ivy League” school but does it get me the Professional or Career opportunity.

These days, Political philosophy and thus Party lines are sometimes blurry. It depends on the person or candidate running for office. Far be it for me to suggest that you should vote for an individual because he or she is Republican or Democrat or Black. However, seems to me that Blacks need to get a Political attitude adjustment. My findings indicate that Blacks support of the Democratic Party is illegitimate, misguided, and unsubstantiated. Seems to me more reason why Blacks should support the Republican Party going forward. The Way Forward (Black America) is clear.

Years ago, I became a Registered Republican. Many in the Black community uttered dirty remarks. It is refreshing to see that some Black celebrities now realize the “Way Forward”. The Black community should embrace this change. For too long the leadership held to the Civil Rights platform apparently not recognizing that Era is over. It is time to move forward and stop complaining, fighting, and marching.

To effect change and bring about your ideals you must be in the room. You must sit at the table. You must articulate the issues and needs. You must have a Road Map and be ready and able to implement plans and solutions.

The Democratic Party is not your conduit or path to solutions. The situations and conditions that affect the Neighborhood will not leave via the assistance of the Democratic Party. The only thing leaving the “Hood” from the assistance of the Democratic Party, are the “so called” Senators and Representatives. In fact, the Democratic Party added insult to injury with the installation of the previous Executive Branch of Government. The previous Administration was ineffective. What was accomplished was not meaningful and what would have been meaningful was not accomplished.

For too long the Black community placed their eggs in the basket of the Democratic Party. They waited decades for the chickens to hatch. Finally, there is an epiphany. Those who thought the ideology of the Democratic Party would bring forth progress and salvation have realized they were WRONG. In the past eight years, there was a Democratic Party administration in the White House and the Black Community received nothing. Chicago and other inner city neighborhoods are rapidly approaching extinction status.

The President in office was Black and presumably, from Chicago yet the community looks the same. In fact, I would argue that Chicago looks worse than it did in 2008. Setting expectations, the Black Community should not count their chickens before they are hatched in interaction with the current Administration but anything is better than nothing. However, my bet is the Black community will get attention and assistance to begin moving forward.

The Democratic Party is all about Handouts, keeping you poor and in pursuit but never attaining. The Republican Party is about ideas and Puritan Work Ethic. Look around you, everything you see was once an idea. If the current leaders of the “Way Forward” are looking for prominent Republican Party members to contribute, they should invite Alan Keyes and Colin Powell. There is work to be done and enough glory to go around.

Here are keys to the success of the “Way Forward”:

  • Empower and encourage young Black people to become Entrepreneurs

  • Train them to be computer literate

  • Encourage them to focus on developing Industries missing from our infrastructure

  • Encourage them to “Think” and improve on existing Industries

  • Encourage them to look at Manufacturing and Farming and not relegate themselves to Services

  • Encourage them to utilize and promote their own talents and not be copycats

  • Instill in them that not everyone is academically inclined. There are roads, buildings, bridges, and other important segments of our infrastructure that need attention.

  • Encourage them to research George Washington Carver, Uncle Ben, and persons of that Ilk so that they can aspire to creativity and ingenuity.

The NAACP and Urban League are in need of an attitude and focus adjustment. The Way Forward is not about complaining, fighting, and marching. The “Way Forward” is not about Jobs, corporate sit-ins, or Internship. Jobs are initial but short-term solutions. Apprenticeship and Entrepreneurship are long-term solution and the “Way Forward”.

If you need something done, be willing and able to do it yourself with the necessary business support. You must be in the room where ideas are being discussed and decisions made. You must sit at the table. You must articulate the needs and issues. You must have a Road Map and be ready and able to implement plans and solutions.

LFT

BLACKS IN POLITICS -BOTTOM

STAND FOR THE ANTHEM AND FLAG

USFLAGWAVING

POTUS said any athlete who takes a knee when the Anthem plays, should be FIRED. He did not say if any “Black, White, Brown, Green, or Color of person”. To interpret any with a specific color, race, or ethnicity is a stretch. Those who made that association, is seeking to find discord with POTUS. Those who made that association would disagree with POTUS if he said the sky is Blue.

The Anthem and the Flag regardless of Country, should be respected and honored. It should not matter if you are from that Country. Respect for your fellow man should motivate you to show admiration for someone’s Anthem and Flag and as such, professional athletes employed by organizations registered in the United States, are expected and obligated to show respect for the Anthem and Flag of the United States.

Kneeling is something you do in church but then most of them do not attend. If you believe that kneeling on the field while those whose attention you wish to attract are in buildings or in church, then you are simply wasting time. The protocol is that if you wish to enact change you must be in the room. The other party must be within the sound of your voice. You cannot go out, kill Law Enforcement personnel, and then tell them to change.

No one is above the Law or rules of civic engagement designed to preserve civility. Individuals who take the position that Laws are made to be broken or bend should be ready to deal with consequences. Two wrongs have never made a right. If someone representing Law Enforcement kills a civilian unjustifiably then you have the right to express anger and demand that the matter be investigated and rectified. However, unless you are on the scene when a member of Law Enforcement commits an unlawful assault, you should not engage in unlawful retaliation after the fact.

Hijacking the flag will not bring about social or political settlement. The flag represents freedom, not just for the USA but Western civilization including all the islands surrounded by the Caribbean Sea. Those who disrespect the flag are disrespecting the Lives of women and men who died trying to keep it waving, especially in World War II.

Many of the dead in World War II left no offspring to benefit from their sacrifice. They left behind no descendant to share in the Freedom and Prosperity derived from the outcome of that war. To those kneeling at the playing of the Anthem and presentation of the flag, here is a fact that you should ponder. Was it not for the efforts of those brave women and men who died in World War II, if you were lucky to be born before or after 1945, you would be speaking Japanese, German, or Russian. Instead, your primary Language is English and the non-English speaking world aspires to learning how to speak it. Contrary to the belief of some, it is not only people from Great Britain and Australia who speak English.

Everyone in the Western Hemisphere has the right to protest. However, you do not have the right to protest the flag. It is simplistic to believe there is something to gain, by making a spectacle of yourself kneeling at the playing of the Anthem and presentation of the flag. Some have even burn the flag of Country but to date achieved nothing positive in result.

Football players making millions, in the only country they could make that much money for their skills, should reconsider their approach to resolution. Any athlete, who thinks there is something wrong with the relationship between Blacks and Law Enforcement, should put money where their mouth is, in this case knees, and constructively organize to effect change. If the task is too much for them then they should solicit leadership of qualified Pastors or Lawyers.

Having said that, do not solicit participation of Pastors who continue to look in the rear view mirror of the slavery narrative but rather those who aspire to move forward. Solicit Leadership from Pastors who believe in constructive and productive dialog that will culminate in better understanding, respect, and integration. Do not solicit aged Pastors who prefer to relish or stay stuck in the mud of the past.

Something is wrong but first do the analysis and determine what. Let us not rush to the conclusion that this side is right and the other wrong. Life is a journey and along the way, there is cause and effect, action and reaction. Your appearance, the time of day, and the neighborhood, can create an unwarranted image and one thing leads to another. Communities and Society are unhinged and collectively we all need to know how to get along. The times are changing. Blacks need to reflect on the messages of my Soul Music Legend.

LFT

EAGLEFORSTANDING -ARTICLE

TAKE AWAY FROM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017

NATHON ALLEN ALTDEMISH GAYE

Greetings Athletic comrades and Track and field Junkies. There were some massive Takeaways from World Championships 2017. Someone opened the hatch, out came Jamaican 400 M runners, and ran they did. Congrats to Nathon Allen, Demish Gaye, and Steven Gayle.

Nathon Allen emerged as the class of the current Jamaican 400 M pool of athletes. Running 44.19 is an awesome start. Demish Gaye is in the room and conversation. 44.55 is respectable time for the 400 M. Both athletes have some work to do but they are capable. The way forward is clear. If both can reduce their times to be between 43.5 and 43.9 seconds, they will be in the discussion for medal in Olympics 2020. I think they will and that will change the narrative of the conspicuously absent Jamaicans in the 400 M finals in the Olympics. This is good stuff Track and Field fans. Herb McKenley and Arthur Wint are proud but they are also saying keep going, you have more in the tank, get ready for 2020.

Omar McLeod continues to impress. His performances have created renewed interest in the 110 M Hurdles. It is an event in which I felt the Jamaican Athlete should excel. Until Omar is beaten at the Olympics, he owns that event. He was the first from Jamaica to win the event on that stage but he knows there will be others. For now, let him enjoy the fame and fortune. I am 100 percent behind him and support his consideration of the 400 M Hurdles. However, I do want to caution him.

The 400 M Hurdles is just as challenging as the 400 M sprint and maybe more. I do not believe Omar is inclined to be a 400 M sprinter. Therefore, he may be competitive but not unbeatable. One may need more stamina to do the 400 M Hurdles at the Olympics than is required for the 400 M sprint. Running is one thing but running and jumping is another thing entirely.

People who may not share my opinion are spectators. Most of them have never run in a 400 M. The 400 M Hurdles at the Olympics level is for those who have experience competing in the 400 M but not fast enough on the flat to medal. Regardless, I am looking forward to some exciting performances from Omar.

In Track and Field competition, there is a difference between not winning and losing. The result of the Men 100 M finals at World Championships 2017 in London is best characterized as Bolt not winning. Those of us, who have participated or follow the Sport, know the difference between not winning and losing. Losing means you were trounced. Not winning means you were on the bubble but could not burst. The Legend tried after stumbling out of the blocks and never found the over-drive.

It is true that the Legend was slowing down or more importantly his Top End speed was not what it use to be but the same is true for Gatlin. Usain did not win because of two reasons. First, he forgot that start matters. Second, he did not remember Gatlin was in the race. Note I did not say he forgot, I said he did not remember.

Usain Bolt dug himself a hole of about three strides out of the blocks to Coleman and then he became fixated on catching him. As a result, he did not remember that Gatlin was in the race. Gatlin was never a thought and certainly not a focus. As they say in boxing, the punch that knocks the boxer out is the one he does not see coming. In the 100 M finals, you cannot forget about that competitor to your far right. That competitor could be the punch you did not see. Such was the case in that race. Gatlin benefited from being in Lane 8.

Twenty Meters (20 M) into the race the only person that mattered to Usain Bolt was Coleman. The Legend thought that if he had any chance of winning, Coleman was the man to beat. That was still the case Eighty Meters (80 M) into the race. Eighty Meters (80 M) into the race, Gatlin may have been of interest but certainly not of influence. Bolt never looked in the direction of Lane 8 because he had no time. Lane 8 or who was in it, was not a factor in the Legend’s mind. I do not believe Gatlin ever appeared in Usain’s peripheral vision. I think Gatlin realized and his victory is what is called, a late-run. Gatlin’s win, can be characterized as benefiting from Athletic indifference.

Gatlin won but he will not be competing in Japan in 2020. Neither will Coleman. 9.9 seconds will not medal in Japan in 2020. If Coleman is considering competing in Olympics 2020, he will have to get faster and develop a better Top End speed. Coleman will be vulnerable to existing and emerging talent like Sani Brown, Aska Cambridge, and Andre De Grasse. Coleman has zero chance of winning the 200 M on this stage. My pick for a 100 M medal in Japan in 2020 is still Aska Cambridge. He should seek out Glen Mills and upgrade his training.

Elaine Thompson stumbled out of the blocks and as such had a minor slip in her career. It does not appear to be something to be concerned about, unless it is ankle or shoe related. Jamaican sprinters have been complaining about the blocks at this World Championship almost to the point where perhaps there should be an investigation. I hope it is not any sinister conduct. However, it might be something for the coaches to monitor and if it continues to request examination and comparison of starting Blocks.

Having raised the ire, I expect exceptional performances from Elaine Thompson going forward and encourage her to psyche herself for a break out time of about 10.65 for the 100 M at the next high-level competition. I am concerned about her non-participation in the 200 M at this World Championship. I do not believe that I have heard a believable explanation to date. Elaine’s non-participation in the 200 M concerns me.

I am very close to the point of saying perhaps she needs a coaching change. She might also be experiencing burn out and could use a vacation. Not a vacation from staying in shape but away from the grind of competing. Those of us who have some experience with the sport will be paying close attention to Elaine, as we get closer to 2020, assuming there will be a Korean Peninsula.

LFT

ELAINE THOMPSON

Farewell Shelly Ann and Usain

FAREWELL SHELLY

They came, they saw, and conquered. They performed victoriously, hugged competitors, shook hands, and prepared for more challenges. Despite apparent dominance, they remained respectful and conducted themselves as class citizens of the world Athletic community.

Such was the behavior of Usain St. Leo Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce between the years 2008 and 2017. 2008 through 2017 was a period in which the best athletes on the planet participated in three Olympics and three World Track and Field Championships. Shelly Ann and Usain performed at an extremely high level, displaying their talents and making their Island Nation proud. Now that the end has arrived for Shelly Ann, and is near for Usain, let us reflect and give thanks to God that we witnessed many wonderful Athletic performances by both persons.

Parting is such sweet sorrow but as fans of Usain and Shelly Ann, we should feel no sorrow as they leave the performing stage. Both gave us many thrills between 2008 and 2017. Let us all commemorate their incomparable achievement accordingly.

Usain Bolt made me a modern day Prophet. In 2006, I had a disagreement with a professional associate that almost turned into a major argument. This person and I disagreed about the potential, capabilities, and abilities of the Jamaican Track and Field athlete. I said that if the Jamaican Track and Field athletes obtained the resources available to those of other Nations they would be the fastest on the planet. By Resources, I meant modern Equipment and Nutrition. That comment was not well- received by the witnesses to that discussion.

Words cannot explain how I felt at the conclusion of the Olympics in 2008. Usain Bolt accomplishments in the last three Olympics are best summarized accordingly. In 2008, it was good morning. In 2012, it was good afternoon. In 2016, it was good night. I am certain that the individual with whom I had the disagreement witnessed the events and truth to my claim. To Usain Bolt I proudly say, thank you.

While the modernization of Jamaican Track and Field began with Donald Quarrie in the 1976 Olympics, Usain and Shelly Ann has taken that effort to another level.

Shelly Ann has given an excellent account of herself. Winning the 100M in successive Olympics – 2008 and 2012, is exceptional accomplishment. While I am certain that Usain three-peat will not happen again, it is doubtful or I have yet to see the female athlete who can match the accomplishment of Shelly Ann. However, there is a chance that Elaine Thompson could do just that. Therefore, it is probably best to say that in the Male arena repeat wins in successive Olympics will not reoccur but I can see it happening in Female competition. What if as a continuation of my proclamation about the Jamaican athlete in 2006, it is destined that a Female athlete will win the 100M and 200M in three successive Olympics. WOW! That would be something.

Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce provided inspiration to their teammates and Island Nation. Track and Field in Jamaica has attained new heights. The sport and its participants are well respected by the world. Phrases like, “the great sprinting nation”, and “sprint Capital of the world” is echoed around the Globe. Athletes from all parts of the Globe will descend on the Island Nation to train and prepare themselves to compete in the Olympics and World Championships. A prime example is Wade Van Niekerk. Wade went to Jamaica and added sprinting to his running. Has it paid off? Yes, it has, look at the 400M record of 43.03 for the proof. The Olympics 400M race is not a Dash anymore it is a Sprint. My prediction is that by 2020 Jamaican Athletes will be running sub 45.0 for the 400M event.

Usain and Shelly Ann provided inspiration to aspiring Track stars in Jamaica. Their mission should they choose to accept is Run at a high level. The 100M, 200M, 110M hurdles, 400M, 400M Hurdles, and 800M races are now sprints. Performances at the Olympics and World Championships in whichever event chosen by aspiring Track stars should mirror the accomplishments of Usain and Shelly Ann to continue the legacy. I am impressed with the wealth of Talent on the Female side of the Jamaican Track and Field Ledger. Perhaps, that will get the Male athletes to step up.

In 2020, there could be a drop in the level of individual performance on the Track but the Quartets Male and Female should remain strong. I expect to see the Men 4 x 400-relay team step up and give a better account. 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. New names will emerge and I am certain that recruited or not there will be individuals seeking to continue the legacy. Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce did their part. It is time for both to move forward and pursue other interests.

Farewell Shelly Ann. I wish you success in Family Life and Parenting. I wish you the same success in business as you enjoyed in Track and Field. I imagine you will be doing speaking engagements, and participating in promotional and Civic activities. I can see you as a future Prime Minister. Should you choose that path; Politicians should receive you with open arms. I believe that by the time your Political ideas come to the forefront, the current crop of Politicians will be ready to retire and as such, people will embrace your participation. You were a stellar ambassador and name recognition will be automatic.  During your reign as a Super Star, you may not have received the ink or interviews you deserved but despite that, your popularity remained in tact. Thank you for all you did for the Sport. Track and Field fans wish you the best in your endeavors. God is watching you from a distance.

Farewell Usain but stay close to the Stadium. Be accessible to the teenagers particularly those of your former High School. There are many who are inspired to follow your example. They will need your attention, nurturing, and exhortation. At the very least, channel these youngsters Male and Female to Glen Mills. Volunteer some time to your former coach to assist in the development of future champions. That effort should be easier than adhering to a Training regiment.

My challenge to you in Retirement is to be a part of the discovery, nurturing, and development of at least three (3) consistent 400M sprinters. Lack of significant excellent representation in the 400M race is obvious. Excellent performance in the 400M event will require men who will consistently run between 43.01 and 44.5. It will require women who will consistently run between 48.0 and 49.4. This will be a serious challenge because the 400M is, as you will agree, the most exhausting of the sprints.

As an individual, you can be a voice nationally and internationally. Do not be afraid to be Capitalistic and be cautious with whom you do Business. Respect your inner circle. Trust but verify. Thank you for all you did for the Sport. Track and Field fans wish you the best in your endeavors. Thanks to you and Shelly, Track and field in Jamaica is coming in from the cold. God is watching you from a distance. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

LFT

FAREWELL USAIN   FAREWELL SHELLY AND USAIN

Track and Field Prophecy

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Usain Bolt made me a modern day Prophet. In 2006 I had a disagreement with a professional associate that almost turned into a major argument. This person and I disagreed about the potential, capabilities, and abilities of the Jamaican Track and Field athlete. I said, that if the Jamaican Track and Field athletes obtained the resources available to those of other Nations they would be the fastest on the planet. By Resources I meant modern Equipment and Nutrition. That comment was not well received by the witnesses to that discussion.

Words cannot explain how I felt after the Olympics in 2008. Usain Bolt’s accomplishment in the last three Olympics can be summarized accordingly. In 2008 it was good morning. In 2012 it was good afternoon. In 2016 it was good night. I am certain that the individual with whom I had the disagreement witnessed the truism of my claim. To Mr.Usain Bolt I proudly say, thank you.

Track and Field in Jamaica and not Athletics as some would have you think, has evolved. Athletics is a broader concept and would include Soccer, Cricket, Basketball, Boxing, etc. In essence any activity that satisfies the definition of Sports played by Humans excluding Horse Racing. Regardless, the IOC continues to expand the field of events to include all the aforementioned except Cricket to date.

While Track and Field has evolved, it appears very little has been done to increase the participation and popularity of other sports in Jamaica. That is the Historical make up of Jamaica. Jamaicans have always had a fascination for running fast.

I could be reflective and talk about Heroes such as Arthur Wint and Herbert Mckenley who will always deserve mention in any discussion about Jamaican Track and Field. However, I will focus on modernization, speculation, and definitely exhortation that will impact the future of Jamaican Track and Field.

From my perspective the modernization of Jamaican Track and Field began with Donald Quarrie in the 1976 Olympics. In 1976 Donald Quarrie won the 200 m at the Montreal Olympics and finished second in the 100 m. Therefore, while we applaud Usain Bolt for his incomparable achievments let us remember that Donald Quarrie laid the foundation and inspiration for Bolt.

Usain Bolt has thrown down the gauntlet to his fellow Jamaican Athletes. Winning the 100 m and 200 m in three consecutive Olympics is a feat that is unparalleled. Just as I was certain of my position in 2006, winning the 100 m and 200 m in three consecutive Olympics is a feat that will not be repeated.

Track and Field in Jamaica has attained new heights. The sport and its participants and future Stars will be well respected by the world. You will hear phrases like, “the great sprinting nation”, and “sprint Capital of the world”. Athletes from all parts of the Globe will descend on the Island Nation to train and prepare themselves to compete in the Olympics and World Championships.

There will be no time for aspiring Track stars in Jamaica to rest. You are now the hunted in this game. Thanks to Usain Bolt, Track stars in Jamaica Male or Female, your mission should you choose to accept, is not Hold, Fold, or Walk away; it is Run.

Let me give a shout out to Johan Blake, Shelly-Ann Fraser – Pryce, Elaine Thompson, Omar McCloud, Shericka Jackson, and the Relay teams both Male and Female. Their performances indicate the continued need for all around effort. It matters not if it is the Olympics or World Championships. Every time Jamaicans perform as a team they will be required to give an all around effort.

Now then let’s talk about the speculative phase of this modernization of Jamaican Track and Field. Omar McCloud Rio 2016 performance was stellar. He took the challenge. The challenge was and is, the 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, 800 m, 400 m Hurdles, 110 m Hurdles, and both relay events are sprints. I could argue that the Mile or 1500 meters is also a sprint. If you wish to be a force to reckon with in the aforementioned events, you had better start training and preparing to compete with a sprint mind-set.

I was very proud to see Omar McCloud jump those Hurdles, barrier after barrier to victory in Rio 2016. To be the first Jamaican to win that event in the Olympics is a Herculean achievement. He has never seen a Jamaican win that event and he wanted to. Therefore, he decided I will win and then watch the video. He decided, I can (Jamaican).

Winning the 100 m, 200 m, and relays – Male and Female is not enough. Therefore, Omar McCloud stepped it up. He took competing in the Olympics to another level. If you can sprint but not as fast as Usain Bolt then re-tool, meaning find another event. I think there are other Jamaican sprinters who should follow Omar McCloud example. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) gives medals for all events.

Let me assist in encouraging the re-tool decision. If as an aspiring Track Star, your training includes running the sand, stairs, steps, hauling a carriage, repetitions, and lifting weights but cannot achieve a time of 9.80 for the 100 m, or 19.50 for the 200 m; then it is time to consider another event. If you prefer the 100 m distance then think about re-tooling for the 110 m Hurdles. If you prefer the 200 m then you should try to make the adjustment for the 400 m.

However, be very careful because the 400 m is the most grueling of the sprints. To be world class as you saw in Rio 2016, you will need to be able to run between 43.0 and 44.0 to earn a medal at the Olympics or World Championships. If luck is on your side and it is a slow day you will still need to run sub 45.0 to earn a medal.

If you are diligent but find the 400 m punishing then try the 800 m or 400 m Hurdles. My point to all aspiring Track Stars is do not try to be another Usain Bolt. Be yourself and be the best you can be. There is and will only be one Usain Bolt. Listen to your coach and work hard. There is an event on the track for everyone. It is no different than there is a woman or man, or a car out there for everyone.

Imagine you are now less than 30 Years of age, how would you like to be the first person to run 8.90 for the 100 m or 18.90 for the 200 m or 42.90 for the 400 m or 1:30 for the 800 m or 46.50 for the 400 m Hurdles. I am guessing you would.

Things are going well on the Track and the future looks bright. However, it appears that the Field is not attracting the needed participation. Field events such as Long Jump, Triple Jump (Hop, Skip, and Jump), Javelin, Discus, Shot Put, Hammer throw, and High Jump are languishing and in need of the equivalent of a booster shot.

Participation in Field events appear to be in need of promotion, attention, and focus. Things are not looking well. Forget about the future, the present is not bright. The Jamaican Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) may have to incentivize participation in Field events. A boost is necessary. In the end someone with the drive and tenacity equivalent to Omar McCloud, will step up and compete at a high level.

World class performance is possible in the Long Jump and Triple Jump events. These two Field events utilize speed. Speed increases Jump height off the Board and follow through into the Pit. The Long Jump and Triple Jump events are opportunities for someone with descent speed but not necessarily Olympic 100 m Gold material. Any Long Jumper who can average between 25 and 31 Feet into the Pit has a reasonable good chance of winning the event on the World stage. Any Triple Jumper who can average between 48 and 52 Feet into the Pit has a reasonable good chance of winning the event on the World stage.

Rio 2016 was the prelude to the changing of the Guard in Jamaican Olympic Track and Field. Tokyo will be the actual changing of the Guard. Most of the current Stars will not make it out of the Trials in Kingston. Some may not even be in the event or make it beyond the Heats. I could go so far as to insert names but it would not be fair to the individuals. Therefore, suffice to say that some of the current Household names in the Jamaican Track and Field sport will not be in Tokyo in 2020.

There could be a drop in the level of individual performance on the Track but the Quartets Male and Female should remain strong. In fact, I am ready to see the Men 4 x 400 relay team step it up and give a better account of themselves. I am expecting improvement in the performances in the Field events particularly Long Jump,Triple Jump, and High Jump. Usain Bolt will depart from competition well before 2020 but I know there are many Speed Merchants out there. New names will emerge and I am certain Usain Bolt is in search of a protégé.

The Era of Speed Merchants has begun. Whereupon you say “Speed what”. To which I reiterate, the Era of Speed Merchants has begun. Men and Women who can run fast will be identified in the Sport as Speed Merchants. Equally important, persons will migrate and some will change Nationality in pursuit of their Sprint dream. Historically and Politically they will become Track and Field Mercenaries.

Some will snicker and others will laugh at the idea. Remember, that 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, in lieu of the fact that Jamaica is only allowed to have three persons represent the Nation in the Olympics for each event, there will be individuals who will feel disenfranchised. As a result Athletes will seek inclusion by migrating and Countries will recruit others in search of Track and Field stardom. Countries will recruit Speed Merchants. Every Nation will seek strong representation in the Men and Women 100 m at the Olympics.

What is the ultimate, zenith, or pinnacle of the above thought. In Jamaica the man on the street would say “ you think say me done”. No I am not, here is where that thought is leading. Yes, I am about to make another Bold prediction.There will be an Olympics in this Century, sooner than later, where all 8 or 9 Finalist in the 100 m will be of Jamaican extract of one kind or another. They will be Jamaican by birth or of Jamaican parentage and representing multiple countries including (we hope) Jamaica. Take note that Jessica Ennis is of Jamaican parentage.

“We hope”, should not be taken lightly. That scenario could happen but for those who hold Jamaica dear to the heart, we hope that is not the case. If all 8 or 9 men in an Olympics 100 m Final are of Jamaican extract of one kind or another representing multiple countries and Jamaica is not in the Line up, that would be tragic for the JAAA but also Jamaica. However, the more likely scenario will be that multiple countries are represented including Jamaica. Do not assume that the Athlete representing Jamaica will win.

Many see Andre De Grasse of Canada as the Olympics heir apparent to Usain Bolt. There is anticipation he will be the star in Tokyo 2020. However, I think the person to watch is Asuka Cambridge of Japan. My pick is interesting since he will be home for the Olympics. Equally interesting is, Asuka Cambridge is of Jamaican parentage.