I realised I hadn't written anything regarding my expectations for the Jamaican team at the Olympics.
Truth is, that's because I haven't really had time to sit down, analyse, film and study all the key notes on the various athletes. Haven't really been listening to the commentators either, to get a sense of who is further along, who is peaking too early, all that track mumbo-jumbo. So I figured I should get my predictions in now before the track and field gets going just so I can say I did it before the results start coming in.
Don't let anyone fool you, these Olympics are set up very nicely for Jamaica. First, it's happening in the year we happen to be celebrating 50 years of Independence. Then the Games happen to be held in London, the city that hosted it in 1948, the first time Jamaica participated. Plus, well-known Jamaican hot spots like Birmingham and Brixton, already known for their street dances, are planning extra special additions for the Jamaica 50/Olympic success celebration. Even the medal ceremony of the men's 100 m (which we are expected to dominate) takes place on August 6, Jamaica's Independence Day. Trust me, di ting set!
What a 'fenneh'
But I can't help but wonder, being the pessimist, what a 'fenneh' if things don't work out? A recuperating Tyson Gay and rehabilitated (we hope) Drugstin, er I mean Justin Gatlin, could take the title. Or in the women's 100 m, Pocket Rocket Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and company may take a backseat to Blessing Okagbare from Nigeria, Murielle Ahouré of the Ivory Coast or even our good friend Carmelita Jeter from the United States. We've got a 4x100 quartet (throw in Nesta Carter, Michael Frater et al) that can run below 37 seconds, which would break our own world record. But what a fenneh if di baton goes for a walk? Same thing with the women. We seem to have talent in the hurdles and 400-metre individual and relay events. I wonder if the track got wet, it would make the athletes 'ketch cold', all that kind of stuff. Can you imagine all the faces in Half-Way Tree and downtown Kingston, and every bar and corner shop in Jamaica? I suspect there would be plenty of doctor visits that same night.
But, donning my positivity cap which, I admit, is not something I do very often, I think we will come away with a very nice haul of medals, especially of the gold variety. Bolt and Shelly shall double, men's 4x100 run 36.95 to be golden. Add in a bunch of silvers with even a surprise bronze in an event we're not 'strong' in and I think we would have done well.
But just get the tissue ready for the bawling, if disaster strikes.