Mon | Dec 11, 2017

Sprinting healthy in Jamaica - Quarrie

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Donald Quarrie (left) making a point to competing athletes Jovan Francis (right) and Demish Gaye at the launch of Jamaica Invitational track and field meet on Wednesday.

Olympian Donald Quarrie, who remains very active in local track and field, feels Jamaican athletes' competitive nature will make them continue to achieve big things on the track despite sprint legend Usain Bolt's retirement this year.

The four-time Olympic medallist won 200m gold at the 1976 Olympics, silver in the 100m, bronze in the 200m four years later, and ended his Olympic career with 4x100m silver in 1984 in Los Angeles.

Quarrie, when asked in a recent interview, said he does not believe Jamaica's sprinting will falter.

"No, I don't think there will be a lull in our athletics. I think that, for example, the bar that Usain (Bolt), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has set, if you look now, Elaine has come in before anything starts going down," said Quarrie.

"I think once Usain retires, everybody is going to say I want to be number one, and that is going to make a big difference, so we are gonna continue, and with the support of sponsors, Government, athletes training hard to achieve goals, to represent Jamaica, we are still going to maintain that number one spot in the sprints," he said.

HAPPY WITH CURRENT JOB

When asked if he had any ambitions for leadership at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association level, Quarrie was quick to point out he is happy with his current job as meet director and athlete liaison.

"Right now, I am focusing on the Jamaica International Invitational and motivating the youngsters to keep our flag flying," he told The Gleaner.

"It (track and field) has changed a lot because now things are more visible. In the past, you would hear about an event or you would see it a couple hours later. Now, everything is instant and so it has given track and field a lot more publicity. It has given the athletes a lot more notoriety," continued Quarrie.

He added that it was good to see Jamaica keeping up with the rest of the world in athletics as far as visibility and performances are concerned.

- S.F.