On Saturday, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown (VCB) grabbed some of the spotlight from Great Britain, which had its best ever day at the Olympics in more than a century. In the closing event of a splendid night of athletics Shelly-Ann produced a stellar run to hold off the fast finishing Carmelita Jeter who was strutting her stuff with super fast times during the preliminary rounds. At one point we thought VCB would have hung on for silver, but that was not to be. Congrats to both ladies for being the first to put Jamaica on the medal table.
BUZZ ABOUT ENNIS
The British team won a whopping three gold medals in the heptathlon, long jump and men's 10,000m on the night. As we entered the Olympic Park on Saturday for the afternoon session, the buzz was about Jessica Ennis and her quest to win the heptathlon. She had produced a massive effort in the long jump during the morning session to extend her lead and as such the expectation was that the last two events (javelin and 800m) would be mere formality. British flags adorned the perimeter area of the park and images of Jessica Ennis could be seen all over on T-shirts, caps, banner signage and face masks. There is absolutely no doubt here as to who is the poster girl of British track and field.
The other expected British gold was from the distance runner Mo Farrah whose victory was met with a crescendo of cheers and the ringing out of 'Mo' around the stadium.
Mo Farrah has an interesting story. He was born in Somalia but had to move to Djibouti after the outbreak of the civil war. The fact that he had a British father afforded him the opportunity to ultimately move to Britain at the age of eight and, as they say, the rest is history. A nice touch to his success was the fact that his wife (in an advanced stage of pregnancy), and daughter joined him on track in his moment of glory.
At the end of the night, a group of approximately 30 Jamaicans gathered on Bridge B to discuss Saturday night's proceedings and to look forward to the men's 100m. The raging debate continued but now a day later, it would have already been settled. Who is the real standard bearer for Jamaican sprinting at London 2012 ... the medals keep flowing.
- Paulton Gordon