Top 10 Olympic moments for team Jamaica at Rio
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Jamaica had its joint second best ever showing in Olympic history after copping 11 medals at Rio 2016 matching Beijing 2008 and falling one shy of the 12 won at London 2012.
Six of the 11 medals captured were gold also tying with the 2008 tally while three silver and two bronze to push Jamaica to second place on the track and field table behind the United States' (31).
But despite all of the nation’s athletes giving of their best, there were 10 moments and achievements that stood out and have come in for special mention.
1. Usain Bolt’s ‘treble-treble’
The world got to witness something that might never be seen again - one athlete winning three track and field medals at three consecutive Olympics and it was done by Jamaica’s own Bolt. The man, who turns 30 today, cemented his place as a legend of not just athletics, but sports after earning his ninth gold medal in as many attempts. Bolt won gold in the men’s 100m, 200m and 4X100m at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 as he closed the curtain on his Olympic career. He also left the sport with one of the most iconic images after cracking a smile mid race en route to winning the semi-finals of the men’s 100m.
2. Elaine Thompson's double
Thompson exploded onto the Olympics stage becoming the first woman to win the 100m and 200m titles at the same Games since Florence Griffith Joyner who did so at the 1988 Seoul Games- four years before Thompson was even born. Very few people outside of Jamaica knew about the 24-year-old prior to her winning silver in the 200m at last year’s World Championships, but she got the world to sit up and take notice after crowning herself sprint queen.
3. Omar McLeod, the golden hurdler
McLeod delivered on the promise he showed from Boys' and Girls' Champs to win the country’s first ever gold medal in the men’s 110m hurdles. Jamaica took a sigh of relief when the boy from Sanguinetti in Clarendon cleared the 10th hurdle, because there was anxiety surrounding his form as he had crashed out of his last two outings leading up to the Games.
4. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
Fraser-Pryce further endeared herself to Jamaicans and the world over, as she showed that not winning and losing can be two different things. The two-time Olympic 100m champion put in a gutsy performance to claim bronze this time around, as she braved the pain caused by a foot injury that plagued her all season. But what stood out most was how gracious Fraser-Pryce was after losing her title to compatriot and club mate Thompson.
5. Shericka Jackson’s expression
Jackson claimed her second consecutive 400m bronze medal at a major senior championship, but it was her expression after winning her semi-final in a new personal best time of 49.83 that has been imprinted in the memory of many. Jackson looked up at the clock as if she had just witnessed Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead.
6. 'Donkey Man's 'super relay run
Javon Francis lived up to his nickname, as he proved yet again that he can handle the burden of anchoring the nation’s men 4X400m relay team taking Jamaica from a non-podium position to silver in the final. The 21-year-old collected the baton in fourth position, but as he did on previous occasions, reeled in those ahead of him with only the US escaping.
7. Novlene Williams-Mills' powerful anchor
An inspiration to many, Williams-Mills, once again showed her resolve to anchor the country’s women’s 4X400m relay team to a medal., copping silver in the final The 34-year-old Mills had revealed to the world just before the 2012 Olympics that she had breast cancer and has since done a mastectomy.
8. Annsert Whyte's personal best
The national 400m hurdles champion was certainly one of the athletes who walked away from the Olympics knowing that he gave his best each time he set foot on the track. Whyte first registered a new personal best in the heats, then in the semi-finals and lastly in the final with a 48.07 seconds clocking to place fifth.
9.Yona Knight-Wisdom and Toni-Ann Williams
Knight-Wisdom had the country holding its breath each time he took the plunge. The 21-year-old, who was the first Caribbean man to compete in diving at the Olympics, missed out on making the final by a mere eight points, but showed that he has immense promise and is definitely one for the future.
IN PHOTO: Toni-Ann Williams
Toni-Ann Williams was also a first at the Olympics for the country, as she represented us in gymnastics. Williams failed to advance past the first round after finishing 54th with 50.966 points. She, however, gave impressive performances in the floor exercise and vault and is sure to have inspired some of the locally kids involved in the sport or those in rural Jamaica who spend some of their summer holidays swing from tree limbs and somersaulting.
10. Aisha Praught
If you were not paying close attention you probably would have missed her, as it is not often that Jamaica has a representative in the 3000m steeplechase. Praught, who was born in the United States and only decided to represent Jamaica after meeting her Jamaican father two years ago, became the third person from this country to contest the event at the Olympics, but the first to reach the final where she placed 14th.
JAMAICA'S 2016 RIO OLYMPICS MEDAL TABLE
1. Men’ 100m Usain Bolt 9.81 (SB)
2. Women’s 100m Elaine Thompson 10.71
3. Men’s 200m Usain Bolt 19.78 (SB)
4. Women’s 200m Elaine Thompson 21.78
5. Men’s 110m Hurdles Omar McLeod 13.05
6. Men’s 4X100m Relay Asafa Powell 37.27 (SB)
Jevaughn Minzie (Round One)
Kemar Bailey-Cole (Round One)
1. Women’s 4X100m Relay Christania Williams 41.36 (SB)
Shashalee Forbes (Round One)
Simone Facey (Round One)
2. Women’s 4X400m Relay Stephenie-Ann McPherson 3:20.34 (SB)
Christine Day (Heat)
Chrisann Gordon (Heat)
3. Men’s 4X400m Relay Peter Matthews 2:58.16 (SB)
Rusheen McDonald (Heat)
1. Women’s 100m Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 10.86 (SB)
2. Women’s 400m Shericka Jackson 49.85
*SB – Season's Best