Sunday, August 17, 2008

!!! Jamaica Sweeps !!!

"I was speechless yesterday for a while. Today I cried," Jamaica's minister of sport, Olivia Grange, said Sunday, after watching Fraser win. "Little Jamaica — our country is blessed with some of the best, if not the best, talent you can find."

Jamaica takes the short sprint titles, with Usain "Lightning" Bolt running a 9.69 100 meters (unbelievable!), and 20 yr. old Shelly-Ann Fraser taking the women's 100 meter dash, in a Jamaican sweep of gold, silver and bronze (actually, 2nd place was a dead heat for the silver) in that event. Fraser was somewhat of a surprise, with not a great deal expected from her, but it was clear by the ease in which she won her race that she will be around for awhile. "Lightning" Bolt is now the fastest man in the world (how much further down can that 9.69 be pushed, unbelievable!), and I'm kind of surprised that a sprinter of Usain's lanky build can run so very fast! He has more of the build of a 400 meter sprinter, but he clearly can run the short sprints.

The Americans, well, it hasn't been their year so far, at least in the short sprints. Tyson Gay did not even make it out of qualifying trials (a shocker!), and of course the Jamaican sweep in the women's 100 m means the Americans (Lauryn Williams) took 4th place. I think an American got bronze in the men's 100 m (checked on that, Walter Dix), and he seemed quite happy with that, being one of those of whom not much was really expected. Hey, bronze is respectable too, especially in that sort of situation.

Another shocker. China's Liu Xiang, China's premier athlete and defending champion, who has been touted as such all through these Olympics, had to pull out of the 110 meter hurdles, after a false start by someone else demonstrated that an injured Achilles tendon Liu had been favoring as he lined up for the race, would not support him in an all-out sprint. Liu pulled his number off of his shirt, and headed back down the stadium tunnels for treatment. This man's face is plastered all over China; he was kind of the Carl Lewis of China, and this happens. There was just stunned silence in the Bird's Nest (stadium), as Liu walked away.

I was a track sprinter in high school, so I like to follow track & field pretty closely, as I do the Olympics in general (and particularly Tae Kwon Do, Table Tennis and Fencing, all of which I have dabbled in, one might say - although I did actually earn a Black Belt in TKD). As a sprinter, I was kind of blah, mediocre, a sprinter who ran almost entirely on adrenalin and fear. But, it's amazing how fast one can run solely on adrenalin and fear! Not too fast, but fast enough, I guess one could say! ( I guess my early training came from that pack of dogs that would chase me to the school bus stop on many a cold morning!)


Blogger GC (God's Child) said...

but didn't I hear whispers of a false start?

10:18 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

I think the Americans protested a false start (by an American, which doesn't make much sense, as they weren't in contention for any medals), but that now seems to have been overruled, so that the results stand as is.

1:44 AM  
Blogger willowtree said...

My Aunt told me that Jamaica was booming with celebrations all over. The other athletes didnt know what hit them in the sprints. They didnt even realize they'd been hit!

10:20 AM  

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