Regardless of the performance of Jamaica’s women in today’s 4x400m relay final, the country has already created World Athletics Championship history.
Helsinki, Finland, in 1983 was where it all started when Bert Cameron pocketed gold in the men’s 400m, running an impressive 45.05 seconds. The outstanding Merlene Ottey took the baton and collected back-to-back 200m gold medals in 1993 and 1995.
After that, the country experienced a drought of individual gold medals until Trecia Smith’s triple jump gold in 2005.
Jamaican superstar Veronica Campbell-Brown added the 100m title in Osaka, Japan, in 2007.
Team Jamaica did, however, win a gold medal in the women’s 4x100m in 1991.
The 2001 women’s 4x400m relay team finished second but was awarded the gold medal after the United States team was disqualified.
Before this awesome performance, Jamaica had won overall seven gold, 29 silver and 30 bronze medals at the World Athletics Championships but no more than a single gold came at any one meet.
The country’s best medal haul came in Osaka, Japan, in 2007, where athletes took home one gold, six silver and three bronze medals.
With one day left in the 2009 Championships, Team Jamaica has already grabbed 12 medals, seven gold, three silver and two bronze.
But even more impressive was the performances in victory.
It’s the first time Team Jamaica has grabbed the men’s 100m and 200m, women’s 400m and 100m hurdles, along with the men’s 4x100m relay.
It is a performance which has been hailed by Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
“The performance of our athletes at the Berlin games and the victories they have brought to our country almost on a daily basis confirm that this country is destined for greatness.
“We are blessed, our people are blessed and we now need to translate this energy, this determination, discipline and drive into all spheres of our lives,” Golding said.
According to Golding, “The athletes have outdone themselves, bringing with them a nation that is bursting with pride and joy, beyond words.”
Story by Anthony Foster, Gleaner
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