Thu | Nov 23, 2017

London 2017 | Blake : Ja could spring surprise at World Champs

Published:Saturday | July 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMHubert Lawrence
Elaine Thompson
Usain Bolt
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Earlier this month, the respected US publication TRACK AND FIELD NEWS predicted that Jamaica will win 11 medals at the World Championships, which start on August 4 in London.

They have now dropped that figure to nine, but Dr Warren Blake, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Asso-ciation (JAAA), thinks that the 11 could be surpassed. In the same discourse, he expressed the view that three-time World 100 metres champion Usain Bolt is a special talent.

"I feel it is a reasonable assumption that we can get 11 medals", agreed Dr Blake. "We may surprise and get a few more," he continued. In an observation on the composition of the Jamaican team to London, he said, "I think we have a pretty good team, a good mix of youngsters and more seasoned campaigners."

The team includes athletes like Bolt and Novlene Williams-Mills, who first participated at the World Championships in 2005 alongside newcomers like Jaheel Hyde, Demish Gaye, Megan Simmonds, and Rhonda Whyte.

Even though Olympic 200 metre champions Bolt and Elaine Thompson are only running the 100 metres, Blake views the 11-medal prediction favourably and said, "it's still a good haul."

The July 2 TRACK AND FIELD NEWS predictions pinpoint Bolt, Thompson, Olympic 110 metre hurdles gold medallist Omar McLeod and discus thrower Fedrick Dacres as individual World Championships winners for Jamaica.

In his own prediction about the future of Jamaican track and field, Blake forecast, "When Bolt steps away, we won't have an outstanding brilliant star, but we'll have enough stars.

"He's special," he concluded, "and another talent like him will be a long time in the making."