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Bolt, silver, bronze ... Reviewing Jamaica's golden performance on the Olympic stage

Published:Sunday | August 21, 2016 | 8:59 AM

Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Jamaica’s team was again box office at the Greatest Show on Earth with the legend, Usain Bolt, in his last appearance, starring once more.

The 2016 sequel of the Olympics Games set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil also gave birth to a new star — Elaine Thompson — who burst onto the scene.

Jamaica’s 63-member cast came away with 11 medals: six gold-the joint most in our history, three silver and two bronze.

The nation’s tally and quality of accolades saw it finishing only behind United States' 555-member cast which accumulated 31 medals in track and field.


IN PHOTO: Sprint super-star Usain Bolt chats with Canada's Andre Degrasse during a 100m race.

Bolt rewrote the script, after walking away with three gold medals from his third consecutive staging of the leading international sporting showpiece.


IN PHOTO: The gold-medal winning 4X100m relay team

This was achieved through outstanding individual performances in the 100m and 200m and a pivotal supporting role in the men’s 4X100m relays.

Bolt was ably assisted in the final by co-stars Yohan Blake, Nickel Ashmeade and Asafa Powell.

Terrific Thompson
Thompson also put in a terrific performance to become the leading actress after running away with three accolades.

The 24-year-old, in her first performance on the biggest stage, won the sprint double, as she matched the 1988 achievement of controversial performer Florence Griffith Joyner, to extend her fame from Banana Ground in Manchester to athletics' centre stage.

She later returned for a silver in the 4X100m relay.

In addition to the two big stars, there were guest stars, co-stars and other who did not make the final cut.


IN PHOTO: Alia Atkinson reacts after her eighth-place finish in the women's 100m breast stroke

However, in his debut performance, Omar McLeod covered himself in glory after becoming the first Jamaican to cop gold in the men’s 110m hurdles.

The same cannot be said for at least one local critic who was obviously tired of his job so he tweeted his way out of it.

READ: Lasco fires employee after controversial McLeod tweet

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for the first time since her inaugural appearance on the scene at the 2008 screening in Beijing, China was not the star female act.

But she definitely earned a star in the walk of fame or better yet a medal for gallantry after running through pain to win bronze in the 100m and anchoring the 4X100m women team to silver.

LISTEN - Why I cried, Fraser-Pryce on her 100m run: www.soundcloud.com/JamaicaGleaner

Audience members who were glued to their seats for the 20-day non-stop action were not prepared for what the penultimate day would bring when news broke that Fraser-Pryce will be taking her star power to a new rehearsal base.

LISTEN - EMOTIONALLY SO MUCH HAS BEEN GOING ON: www.soundcloud.com/JamaicaGleaner

LISTEN - I FAILED FRASER-PRYCE, SAYS COACH FRANCIS: www.soundcloud.com/JamaicaGleaner

A former child actress, Shericka Jackson, showed that she belonged on the big stage after her bronze medal winning performance in the women’s 400m.

The only animated figure to feature in the production, 'Donkey Man', was once again a hit with fans after he put in the customary fearless performance to earn his unit - another international award - silver in the men's 4X400m relay.

Veteran in the business Veronica-Campbell Brown to the astonishment of most, if not everyone, failed to produce another dazzling performance, as she did not make it past the first casting in the women’s 200m.

The men and women who were expected to pull off impressive stunts in the field failed to impress with only O’Dayne Richards making it to the big screen in qualifying for the finals of the shot put finishing as the eighth best performer on the night.


IN PHOTO: O'Dayne Richards in the men's shot put

Aubrey Smith seemed to have been more intent on collecting autographs than competing, as his reason for not registering a single legal attempt in the men’s long jump was that he was star struck.

Bahamian Shaunae Miller was a guest star after diving onto set to upstage main antagonist Allyson Felix of America in the women’s 400m.

So a production which got off to a shaky start blossomed into a spectacle that will forever be remembered as Rio 2016 where the man, the legend Usain St Leo Bolt closed the curtains on his illustrious career.

WATCH: Jamaican athletes arrive in Rio to incomplete rooms