Tue | Jan 26, 2021

Letter of the Day | No Bolt, no problem

Published:Tuesday | October 8, 2019 | 12:00 AM


The 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, provided an opportunity for the nation’s athletes to showcase their talents amid doubts over whether the team had recovered from the London debacle in 2017? Would the absence of Usain Bolt damper their spirits?

Jamaica garnered a measly four medals in London. This year, however, our athletes didn’t disappoint, and despite everything not going as planned, the team still managed to win 12 medals, placing third behind the USA and Kenya.

It was evident that the team was prepared for the post-Bolt era. Tajay Gayle, a relative unknown, soared to new heights in the long jump, winning gold and, in the process, establishing a new national record.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce showed that she is a true champion, demolishing a strong field and confirming her status as the greatest female sprinter of all time. Our ladies showed that while not at full strength, we can still dominate the world in the 4x100m relays, sprinting to the gold medal with baton safely in grasp.

Fedrick Dacres sailed the discus into orbit and Danniel Thomas-Dodd launched the shot put as they both earned silver, becoming the first medallist for Jamaica in their respective events. Shanieka Ricketts was not to be outdone, hopping, skipping and jumping to a silver medal. The men’s 4x400m relay team got themselves back on the podium with a silver medal after missing out at the last few major championships, and in the mixed relays, a new event at the Worlds, the team captured silver, proving their preparedness.

Four bronze medals were captured as well – in the women’s mile relay, Danielle Williams in the 100m hurdles, and lifetime best performances from Shericka Jackson in the 400m and Rushell Clayton in the 400m hurdles.

We may not have dominated the sprints but surely rose to prominence in the field events, proving that we are, indeed, a rounded nation. For those who felt the sport was heading in the wrong direction, and that Bolt’s retirement meant the death of the sport, they were proved wrong. No Bolt, no problem. The post-Bolt era has begun and it’s looking good.