Paulton Gordon, Gleaner Writer
As we get set for the track and field segment of the London Olympics, a hot topic over the last 48 hours is the disqualification of eight women in the badminton competition for what is deemed 'not using one's best efforts to win'.
The four doubles pairs (two from South Korea, and one each from China and Indonesia) attempted to manipulate the draw because they had already qualified for the second round. Apparently, if they lost a match in the group stage, it would mean an easier passage to the gold medal round. Fans who turned up to see the Asian giants in action rang out a chorus of boos around the arena and left deeply disappointed. Clearly, this was not a good advertisement for a sport that is not overly popular in the western world and the International Olympic Association did not take kindly to the actions.
Women to qualify
Snapping out of the negatives, Jamaica is poised to begin its medal quest today with the main interest being in the 100m (w) where Shelly-Ann, Veronica (VCB) and Kerron are expected to qualify for the semi-finals with some degree of comfort. There is much anticipation around London as the Jamaicans match strides with the Americans led by Carmelita Jeter. Traditionally, the opening day of athletics produces a different feel for the Caribbean fan, as this is where the interest peaks. It is an opportunity for the travelling fans to meet for the first time as a large group lyme, exchange views, meet new friends and assess the chances of our athletes.
My recollection of Athens is that the Jamaican brand, although recognised, did not reach dizzying heights until VCB and the rest of the contingent started to produce outstanding performances at the start of the track session. In Beijing, Bolt set the stage extremely early and it was like a big Jamaican party after the second day of track and field. Every single Jamaican in Beijing became an instant celebrity resulting in persistent requests for autographs and photo opportunities.
As the athletes get ready to take centre stage, we wish them the best of luck as they proudly represent the black, gold and green. They do so with a sense of pride and this is where four years of hard work and dedication will culminate in performances aptly dubbed 'from Jamaica to the worl'.