Heroic Asafa has overcome much
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Hubert Lawrence's article on Thursday, May 17, 2012, asking that we lift up Asafa was an excellent well-written reminder of the facts. Asafa has been injured more often than most people would like to remember, for it is not convenient for them to do so when lambasting him.
They don't want to remember how severe his original groin injury was - the one that kept him out of the 2005 Worlds and cancelled the rest of his season. It was so bad that he, his coach, everyone concerned, knew weeks in advance that he would not be able to compete, that there was not the slightest chance of him recovering.
And people conveniently forget this, that the same groin that was so badly damaged is susceptible to repeat injury year after year. Twice now his injured groin has caused him to miss a Worlds, yet that truth is ignored by detractors.
There are also persons who question his effort. There has been one race, the infamous 2007 100m final at the Worlds, in which he obviously gave up when caught by Tyson Gay. He admitted to panic and has not done it since. Yet people grab on to that one incident, itself preceded by a groin injury at our trials, and slap a label on every other race he has not won.
You want effort? How about running his season best on a damaged ankle for the fastest time ever recorded for a bronze medal, a time that would have won gold at the majority of previous Worlds? Is that not effort?
Now people suggest that he be kept off the relay for fear of him losing focus and faltering. When has Asafa ever been anything but exemplary in a relay at a major event? Two massive efforts in '02 and '07 on anchor have gained Jamaica silver when the team seemed destined to finish off the podium.
Would we want more for Asafa? Yes, obviously so. Commonwealth gold, two Worlds bronze and two Olympic fifth places are nice, but more medals would be better. However, we shouldn't tear him apart at the seams when he, through injury, cannot perform as we would like.
This is the man that paved the way for the current crop of Jamaican stars. Such a man is to be celebrated. Lift him up indeed.
Stony Hill, Kingston 9