JAMAICA’S MALE ATHLETES BEYOND 2021

Olympics 2021 and Prefontaine Classic 2021 is History. Up next of significance is World Athletic Championships – 2022. Jamaica’s Male Track and Field Athletes had a disappointing year in 2021. Thankfully the hurdlers were running. However, we need a Team. We need some Male athletes in the 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M, and 1500M events. Fans believe there are already qualified candidates for the Long Jump, Triple Jump, Discus, and Shot Put. The question is those prospects still actively pursuing an Athletic Career. In the search for Stars, remember the High Jump and Relays.

Jamaica’s male Track and Field athletes are having a drought but the Track Man is anticipating Rain for World Championship 2022 and torrential Rain for Olympics 2024. Rain in this context is indicative of Signature Performances. Cheers to you, Red Stripe beer, and Dragon Stout. Things will get better but it is time to get to work. Fans will patiently wait and provide pens for Signature performances.

Where are the prospects for Jamaica’s male Track and Field? It is time for all to Big Up. Usain is not the only one who can run. Did Usain take the best track shoes home? Thank goodness, he did not take the women shoes. It cannot be that because Usain Bolt no longer runs others wont. Usain Bolt might have been an inspiration or the equivalent of an insurance policy but Fans are looking for a few good men to inspire and motivate others.

There were great expectations that success at Common Wealth Games 2018 would carry forward to Olympics 2020 in Tokyo. Unfortunately, Fans did not realize that expectation in Tokyo 2021. At Commonwealth Games 2018, the team placed 11TH out of 43 with 27 Medals in total – 7 Gold, 9 Silver, and 11 Bronze. Not too shabby for an Island Nation. Fans anticipated improvement in Field events such as Long Jump, Triple Jump  Javelin, Discus, Shot Put, Hammer throw, and High Jump. Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle won gold and silver respectively for Jamaica in the men’s discus. Those gains did not materialize in Tokyo 2021 but they are forthcoming.

Hurdling has caught on. In general, Jamaica’s Male Hurdlers are demonstrating what Fans expected in this Event. Hansle Parchment won Gold and Ronald Levy won Bronze in the 110M hurdles Olympics 2020 in Tokyo. Jaheel Hyde has some work to do in the Men’s 400 meters hurdles but he can (Jama I can) do it. Nathon Allen and Yohan Blake should consider Retirement. There is only so much continuous running in the legs of a Professional sprinter. Both Men should try out for World Athletic Championships – 2022, end a Career, and move forward to a New Frontier. Below special reference and respect to some veteran Athletes.

Omar McLeod still impress despite not making the Team for Olympics 2020. Fans not sure what happened in the Jamaica Olympic Trials, probably overconfidence. His performances created interest in the 110M Hurdles event. The 110M Hurdles is an event in which Jamaican Athletes can excel. Until Omar is defeated at the Olympics or retires, he owns that event. He was the first from Jamaica to win the event on that stage. For now, let him enjoy the fame and fortune. It is time to get ready for World Athletic Championships – 2022. I am 100 percent behind him and support his consideration of the 400M Hurdles. Is it possible that Omar McLeod, Hansle Parchment, and Ronald Levy could produce a 123 in the 110M hurdles? Fans think it is possible.

Ronald Levy still has time to win a Gold Medal in the 110M Hurdles.  He has excellent technique and speed. At age 29, he is at his prime for the 110M Hurdles. World Athletic Championships – 2022, is definitely a good time for him to demonstrate he is an exceptional athlete in that event. He has already done so but there is an opportunity for punctuation.

Javon Francis appeared to be in shape before Olympics 2020 but preparation did not translate into performance. 46.6 will not make you early for dinner, where dinner is the Gold Medal.

O’Dayne Richards failed to make the Team for Olympics 2020 but moving forward should be competitive in the shot put and discus throw. Even at age 33, he should be able to give a good account of himself in both events. Along with Fedrick Dacres and Traves Smikle, the Men’s Field events squad should Medal at World Athletic Championships – 2022. Any kind of Medal will be appreciated.

Everton Clarke might not recover from failing to make the Team for Olympics 2020. There was excitement at Olympics 2020 but the careers of some athletes suffered, including Everton Clarke.

Moving forward, will Sachin Dennis and Akeem Bloomfield be the base of the rebirth of Jamaica’s male sprinting? Will Tyreke Wilson and Vashaun Vascianna be part of that effort? Fans are looking for a few good men to inspire and motivate others.

Jamaica’s male Athletes graded by Event and expectations before World Athletic Championships – 2022 is as follows:100M – Need Improvement – C. 200M – Need Improvement – C. 400M – Need Improvement – C. 800M – Need much Improvement – D. 1500M– Need much Improvement – D. Long Jump – Need Improvement – B. Triple Jump – Need much Improvement – D. High Jump – Need much Improvement – F. Hurdles 110M – Excellent – A+. Hurdles 400M – Good – B. Discus – Good – B. Shot Put – Good – B. Javelin – Need much Improvement – F. 4 × 100M relay – Need Improvement – C, and 4 × 400M relay – Need Improvement – C.

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SIGNATURE PERFORMANCE

Fans of Elaine Thompson – Herah received a Signature Performance at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, confirming her acceptance to the 10.6X Club. Her performance was a Clinic on how to run the 100M and 200M. If Performances could cure COVID-19, her Fans would be One Hundred Percent Healthy. Elaine Thompson – Herah was the Highlight of Olympics 2021. The Spear was burning in Tokyo.

Elaine Thompson – Herah, performed at an extremely high level. She displayed her talent and made Jamaica proud. Before the Olympics, I declared that the Women 100M Final in Tokyo 2021 was on Track for a Time of 10.61 or better. All 100M finalist knew that if their Personal Best (PB) were south of 10.8X, they would be late for Dinner where dinner is the Gold Medal.

Elaine Thompson – Herah performance in the 200M, was stellar and an awesome display of Acceleration, Velocity, and Speed. She accelerated at the start and maintained velocity for the distance. There is no winning coming from behind in the 100M and 200M. Despite the results of all previous performances, Elaine Thompson – Herah came away with Two Gold Medals.

There is no holding back or keeping anything in Reserve when running the 100M and 200M. Leave it all on the Track. At the start, let your opponents listen for the Gun, you watch the Feet. The moment Opponents lead Foot off Blocks, you BOOGIE. If in the 100M, First 4 Steps “Good morning”, next 4 Steps “Good afternoon”, next 4 Steps “Good Night”. Internal Mantra is “Meet me at the Tape”. If in the 200M, midway the Bend “Good morning”, end of the Bend “Good afternoon”, stabilize and “Good Night”, Internal Mantra is “Meet me at the Tape”.

Elaine Thompson – Herah is a Class Act Jamaican sprinter. She won the 100M and 200M at the 2016 Rio Olympics and repeated the feat at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Elaine Thompson – Herah destroyed the Field in both events. Elaine Thompson – Herah, confirmed that she is capable of running 10.61 in the 100M and Fans believe she can produce a time of 21.2 in the 200M.

Post Olympics, there were sore losers. Animus was abounding among presumed “Sport Fans” from various Countries towards Jamaican Athletes. Some refuse to acknowledge a stellar performance, with the undertone of – there goes those damn Jamaicans again. However, Takeaway from such negative sentiments is that people are not Anti- Jamaicans but rather hate success.

Moving forward it will be difficult to make the Jamaica Olympics Team as a member of the 100M squad. The Era of 10.6X in the Women 100M event is well on the way.

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SHERICKA JACKSON POTENTIAL GOLD MEDALS – OLYMPICS 2021

Despite the results of all previous performances, Shericka Jackson has an opportunity to win a Sprint double at Olympics 2021 and come away with Two Gold Medals, “Believe it or not“. It does not matter if you believe, as long as she does. She has the Power and is gradually working on Speed. However, she has to forget about running 400M style.

The 100M and 200M events are completely different from the 400M. Shericka Jackson, needs to make that adjustment and quickly. There is no winning coming from behind in the 100M and 200M, unless you are Usain Bolt and were slow getting out of the Blocks. In the 100M and 200M, there is a 99.99 percent chance, that if you are late out of the Blocks you will be late for Dinner. Dinner is the Gold Medal.

There is no holding back or keeping anything in Reserve when running the 100M and 200M. Leave it all on the Track. At the start, let your opponents listen for the Gun, you watch the Feet. The moment Opponents Foot is off Blocks, you BOOGIE. If in the 100M, First 4 Steps “Good morning”, next 4 Steps “Good afternoon”, next 4 Steps “Good Night”. Internal Mantra is “Meet me at the Tape”. If in the 200M, midway the Bend “Good morning”, end of the Bend “Good afternoon”, stabilize and “Good Night”, Internal Mantra is “Meet me at the Tape”.

Shericka Jackson is a Class Act Jamaican sprinter. She won the bronze medal in the 400M event at the 2015 and 2019 World Championships and at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Winning the 100M and 200M will require Sherika to trust her Talent, get out of the Blocks quickly, get the lead, run away, and win going away. Perish the thought of winning coming from behind in the 100M and 200M. Developing this Mind-Set will enable Shericka Jackson to destroy the Field in both events. Shericka Jackson is capable of 10.61 in the 100M and 21.2 in the 200M. Olympics 2021 should be a Festival in Japan. The Tail Gate Party has begun.

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WOMEN 100M FINAL SET FOR 10.6X IN TOKYO

Fans of Elaine Thompson – Herah are waiting for a signature Performance to confirm her acceptance to the 10.6X Club. Her performance in the 2021 Olympic Trials was impressive. She will be a contender in Tokyo 2021 Olympics. Her performance in Rio 2016 was exceptional. She is one of the few Female athletes who can run the 100M in less than 11.00 seconds and has proven that she can run the 200M in less than 22.00 seconds. She will perform well in Olympics 2021. Elaine Thompson – Herah, has an excellent chance of being on the Podium.

Absent injuries, she will to be a Factor in the Women 100M and 200M events in Tokyo. Her performances in the Jamaica National Championships were competitive and I anticipate improvement. The Jamaica National Championships – 2021, except for the Women 200M and 400M Finals, did not produce Times and Performances anticipated. Elaine Thompson – Herah, has some work to do but nothing to be nervous about. The Spear is burning in Tokyo.

In 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2017 we saw the best athletes on the planet participate in three Olympics and World Championships. Elaine Thompson – Herah, was a big part of the 2016 Olympics. She performed at an extremely high level, displaying her talent and making Jamaica proud.

Athletes planning to be in the Women 100M Finals in Tokyo with a Personal Best (PB) slower than 10.8X, should STAY HOME or skip the event. Participating in the event with a PB south of 10.8X, will make you late for Dinner. The Women’s 100M Final in Tokyo 2021 is on Track for a Time of 10.61 or better. This Athlete showed that the Time is possible.

Moving forward it will be difficult to make Jamaica Olympics Team as a member of the 100M squad. The Era of 10.6X in the Women 100M event is well on the way. Olympics 2021 should be a Festival in Japan. The Tail Gate Party has begun.

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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.