by Jean Lowrie-Chin - excerpt from Jamaica Observer column - 26 Aug 2013
What a Jamaica we live in! On the international scene, we were the toast of Moscow, cheerleaders for China, and the ‘warnees’ of WADA, all in a few breathless days. Back home, there were public servants being hustled out of their posts, a leadership issue in the JLP, growing bewilderment at JTA money and leader management and renewed interest in the medicinal qualities of marijuana.
|A Triumphant Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after her runaway anchor leg in the 4x100 at the Moscow Championships|
From Moscow we heard that the Russians showed more interest in Jamaica than in any other country participating in the IAAF World Championships.
|Javon Francis finishes with Silver. Photo by Ricardo Makyn|
We are a fascinating bunch – how can such a tiny country end up with the same number of Gold medals as the mighty USA? And just when we thought Warren Weir was our biggest athletic surprise, completing the 1-2-3 in the London Olympics, a shy 18-year-old named Javon Francis astounded the world. Taking Jamaica from 5th place in the 4x400M relay, Francis flew past his rivals to secure a silver, clocking 44.05 seconds, faster than Lashawn Merrit, who anchored the victorious US team, in a time of 44.77 seconds.
|Stellar quartet: (from left) Jamaica's Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nesta Carter,
Nickel Ashmeade and Usain Bolt celebrate after winning the men's 4x100m
As for our triple Gold-medalists ‘Big Man’ Usain Bolt and ‘Pocket Rocket’ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – not only are they great athletes, but they are warm and easy Jamaicans who are the best possible representatives of our brand. Warren Weir went one better with a silver in the 200, and we appreciated Nickel Ashmeade’s brave run. Kudos to Nesta Carter for his final reward of an individual medal – the bronze in the 100M event.
|Shelly-Ann runs for her Gold|
The women’s and men’s 4x100 relays were magnificent. Many of us were understandably nervous after all baton mishaps by other countries in the heats, but our Jamaicans kept their heads and executed well. Carrie Russell, Kerron Stewart, Schillonie Calvert and the phenomenal Shelly-Ann all alone at the finish, gave a flawless performance to win in a championship record of 41.29 seconds. Bolt, Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade won in a blazing 37.36 seconds.