Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, 1,2,3, Gold, Silver and Bronze.
Leading up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games, there was much talk about the US 100m Champion Sha’Carri Richardson being the favourite to win the women 100m finals by most American sports agencies. What was missing was the blatant disrespect for the reigning Olympic gold medal champion, Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah, two-times Olympic gold medal champion Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Olympic, world and collegiate champion Shericka Jackson.
Since Jamaicans are “Tallawah, dem no pay dem no mind” (strong and mind there on business. While the American broadcasters remained in their bubble, the Jamaicans and the rest of the world knew all roads leading to the gold medal race comes through Jamaica.
If you asked any Jamaican who would win the Tokyo women 100m Olympic finals, they would reply Jamaica. Their answer was purely accurate to facts, not rhetoric. For decades the island of Jamaica has dominated the sprint world and produced some of the biggest names in sprinting from Bolt, to Blake, to Fraser Pryce and 2021 Tokyo Olympic 100m champion Thompson–Herah.
“Jamaica’s dominance in the women’s 100m at the Olympics is mind-blowing. 10 of the 12 medals won since 2008 and every single gold since then have been won by Jamaicans. 16 of 30 medals since 1984 have also went to Jamaican women. DOMINATE” Said Andre Lowe, Sports Editor of the Jamaica Gleaner
The Jamaican Olympians breezed through their heats and the semis, earning themselves a date in the finals. With three Jamaicans in the finals, they tripled their country’s odds of winning gold. Not only did they take home the gold, but they also took home the silver and bronze medals. It was a clean sweep for the Jamaicans. A country of three million owned the podium and again proved to the world why they are the global superpower in women 100m sprinting.
However, it was not long before rumblings from American broadcasters indicating had Sha’carri not failed her drug test for marijuana and automatically disqualified her for participating in Tokyo, the results might have been different.
The sheer hubris of them!. That reminds us of when Michael Johnson, the former Olympic 200m winner, indicated Canadian Olympic 100m Champion Donovan Bailey (Jamaican) was not the fastest man because he won the 100m finals.
What ensued months after Johnson’s ridiculous statement was a head to head race against Donovan Bailey at a distance of 150m. If you are wondering the result of the race, Johnson got his ass kicked. He did not even finish the race. He pulled up halfway and embarrassed himself to think he could beat bailey.
We find it insulting that the Olympians that competed in the 100m finals got bombarded by questions about Richardson’s absence from the Tokyo games. In which they responded “no comment”.
Richardson is a world-class American champion that worked hard to be an Olympian. The choices she made ultimately disqualified her from participation. Her use of marijuana was said to help her cope with the death of her mother. Sha’Carri deserved to be on the Olympic stage, and there is no doubt her talent and perseverance will get her there. We can hope the American Olympic Association puts in place better support systems for people dealing with grief. Rules are rules, even if some of them are outdated.
But for the sake of comparison, Richardson ran her personal best time of 10.86 seconds in Dallas, Texas and qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah ran her 100m race at 10.61 seconds, breaking Flo Jo’s 33-year-old Olympic record set in the 1988 Seoul Olympics by 0.01 seconds. Two times Olympic gold medal champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce came second at 10:74 and Shericka Jackson at 10:76 seconds.
So to state the obvious, the Jamaican women are the greatest sprinters of all time and are the favourites to win gold in Paris, France 2024!
Photo cover credit Getty Image