Usain Bolt's loss to Yohan Blake in the 100 metres and 200 metres races at the national athletic trials has, understandably, raised concerns among many Jamaicans.
But Bolt, the world record holder and the Olympic champion in both events, has emerged as a Jamaican national treasure who has become the iconic figure of global athletics, around whom much of the promotion for next month's Olympic Games in London has been built.
It happens that those Games coincide with Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence, and, intentionally or otherwise, will be a substantial part of the celebrations. In that regard, the performance of our athletes at the Games will likely affect the national mood and festivities. Hence, the additional burden placed on the already high expectations of Bolt.
Bolt remains, by any standard, an outstanding athlete who, at this time, is not performing at his peak of four years ago. If his current form does not represent permanent deterioration of his genius - and we have no reason to think so - Bolt and his coaches have a bit of time, before the Olympics, to discover and fix his problems - physical or psychological.
But even as we hope for more and greater glory from Usain Bolt, it would be wrong to devalue the performance of Yohan Blake and deny him deserved acclaim.
Blake is no flash in the pan. Recall his victory in the 100 metres at last year's World Championships, in the absence of Bolt. He consistently runs fast times, including the second swiftest over 200m.
In other words, Yohan Blake, too, is a Jamaican national treasure and, happily (were that to be the case), a worthy successor to Bolt.
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