Great pride in our athletes

Saturday, August 11, 2012

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There can be no praise too high for Jamaica's women's sprint relay team who brought more pride to this small island yesterday by winning the silver medal at the London Olympics.

That this talented quartet went further to bring home the medal in a new national record of 41.41 seconds is even more commendable and speaks to the top-draw status of Jamaica's athletics on the global scene.

Ms Sherone Simpson, a member of the team that did us proud yesterday, was justifiably ecstatic, especially, as she revealed, they had little time to practise.

"We are happy, we are very happy with how we ran, we just need to get together more, practise more, and once we are able to do that we will be able to run better," she said.

"For the practise that we did, we really did well, and we just have to continue to work hard. 41.41 seconds is amazing, and just to see the little time we had together that was really a good time for us," Ms Simpson added.

Congratulations must also be extended to the American team who smashed the world record with a blistering 40.82-seconds run.

The battle for sprint supremacy between Jamaica and the USA has, over the last few years, provided great excitement and entertainment for track and field fans at major games.

We are particularly proud of the fact that over that time our athletes have been showing steady improvement in their performances, to the point where — certainly since the Beijing Olympics four years ago — we now dominate that contest.

But as we all know, in sport, victory will go to those who are more prepared on the day of competition or, in some cases, those who are blessed with more luck.

Of course, superior talent plays a big part, as is the case with Messrs Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir who gave Jamaica a clean sweep of the men's 200-metre final on Thursday night. And, as we stated in this space yesterday, we have no doubt that had he wanted to, Mr Bolt could have set a new world record in that event, as he slowed at the finish line and even looked across at his teammate, Mr Blake, who was breathing down his neck.

Such is the talent of a man who, we suspect, has not yet run his best race. For we believe he can lower the world records he has already set in the 100 and 200 metres.

But even as we await that performance from Mr Bolt, we will continue to bask in the achievements of the team at these Olympic Games which come to a close tomorrow.

We have no doubt that when they return home, all our athletes — those who won medals, and those who didn't — will be given a rousing welcome from a nation that is eternally grateful to them for holding our flag high and with pride.




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