Wed | Jul 18, 2018

400m provided perfect start for Ja

Published:Sunday | August 14, 2016 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Arthur Wint winning Jamaica's first Olympic gold medal at the 1948 Games.

The men's 400 metres provided a perfect start to Jamaica's participation in the Olympic Games.

Jamaican Arthur Wint upset compatriot and world-record holder Herb McKenley to win the 400m in 1948 at the London Games, and another Jamaican, George Rhoden, held off McKenley in 1952 in Helsinki, Finland. The pickings have been slim since then.

After that dream start, Jamaica has struggled in what was once its signature event. Injury pushed 1983 World Champion Bert Cameron off the track in 1984 after he had become the first Jamaican to reach the Olympic final since Rhoden, McKenley and Wint all did in 1952.

Cameron, who also raced in the 1988 final, was followed by Roxbert Martin and Davian Clarke in 1996 as finalists, before Greg Haughton jetted from the outside lane to grab third place in the 2000 Games. Danny McFarlane was eighth in that final.

Haughton's bronze brings Jamaica's all-time men's 400 metre medal tally to five.

Just like Rhoden, McKenley and Wint in 1952, Brandon Simpson, Clarke and Michael Blackwood were all finalists in 2004.