THE KING & QUEEN IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE USA.

Jamaica suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday afternoon. Bolt lost the M100m at the #LondonWorldChampionships2017.  It was the anti-climax to the biggest farewell party, over 2 years in the planning, for an athlete that has single handed mesmerized the world with human speed.

The social ripples were far reaching. The economic even worse. Downing strong cues of #Wray&NephewAppletonRum, the nation tried to recover turning their attention to their new sprint queen #ElaineThompson who for sure would save face and restore the shine of the sprint power on the right feet. The King suffered a major set back on the left. We have a Queen. No worries. The name of honour is more important than death.

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Men’s 100m final at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (Getty Images)

Sunday, August 6. Jamaica’s Independence Day, 55 years old. Jamaica suffered another cardiac arrest. Elaine Thompson fizzled in the W100m final and came 5th, not even earning a medal.  The silence across the nation was deafening. I stood in Montego Bay and felt the silence as far as Kingston.  Exactly 9 years after the coronation of the nation in Beijing as the #sprintfactory,  the King and Queen was now dead. And technically, so did the Jamaican track and field program.

What happened?.

in 2008 after years of US dominance, the atmosphere putrid by swirls of drug incensed clouds in the US camp, Jamaica tipped the balance of power in their favour, led by #Bolt The King, and his cadre of team members and #Shelly-Ann Fraser, the newly crowned queen of track and field. The politics of power in athletics is like the global political game of present players, the US and the others. The US commands enormous political power in athletics. Amidst accusations of nefarious circumstances, their athletes are usually given the benefit of the doubt by their governing US body. And even if found guilty of using substances, deals are broken with the convicted, names are shamed, persons outed, suspensions reduced and voila, the athlete is back on the circuit in lesser time than other athletes of other countries that usually suffer stiffer penalties, including life bans.

Such was the case of the man who beat Bolt at the Championships, #JustinGatlin. His story is chronicled and followers of track and field have openly expressed their displeasure with him, including Bolt. So it was not at all surprising when the stadium. full of some 50,000 persons booed when he was declared the winner of the race. Why HIM? Anyone else would be easier to swallow, but not HIM!

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Justin Gatlin of the USA reacts after winning the men’s 100m final at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships in London, Britain, 05 August 2017. (Getty Images)

Fresh wounds were open. The cheat won. The bastard of Athletics beats the boy wonder. A Russian journalist intimated in her question later at the presser with Bolt and Gatlin and Bolt surprisingly defended Gatlin. If you were watching this warm and fuzzy BBF moment between the two, you would have wondered when since these two were such close buddies?

In the geopolitical arena, Russia is no friend of the US. In the politics of athletics, the US is no friend of Jamaica. Can we say nice things to each other? Yes, we can. But Bolt was attempting to cross that sensitive line and incorrectly thought the journalist was casting doubt on his performances. Bolt should have known better. Each man should have spoken for himself when that ugly topic was raised. Gatlin basked in Bolt’s answer clearly happy that he didn’t have to relive and retry that case of his drug conviction and suspension.

Bolt did not do himself any favours then as he didn’t do any earlier on the track. For the first time in his long and storied career, Bolt was embarrassed. Genuinely embarrassed. His personal motto is ‘Anything is possible. I don’t think limits“. As a pro, he knows that possibilities are erased to certainty when hard work is put in the mix.

Bolt did not put in the hard work and it showed. Hard work was not mixed with need. Bolt did not ‘need’ this anymore. His lust for athletics died in Rio and through agonising pressure, he went on his final preparation but it was without energy, drive or feelings. His friend died as well, not having heard about it but was physically there when it happened. Bolt was mentally out of it. Bolt was not hungry but the champion that he is, performing with confidence is not his weakness. And so he appeared in London with his panache,  knowing he had no clothes.

Bolt was half the man he was in 2008. Quarter the man he was in 2012 and not himself in 2017. #ElaineThompson, however, is still a shocker. Only she knows the answers and we hope her coach and her will have a come to Jesus moment in the next few days. Her sponsors certainly will. Losing is one thing for the country. It’s a totally different thing for a sponsor. Like any job, athletics has its stresses.

Athletics is a business. Period.

Athletes are paid to run and to be successful.  Elaine lost thousands of dollars for her unexpected loss. Her coach will certainly have an answer but you can expect sponsors will be watching Frano’s camp closely as well as the Mills camp. Money goes where champions are bred.

Behind the glamour and spectacle lies a business and at this #WorldChampionships Jamaica has damaged itself. By not meeting their own standards The US has gladly taken the reigns once again and can now hang their banner reading  “Sprint King & Queen”. The King is dead.  There is no one to replace him. The Queen is dead. There is no one to replace her.Like a falling star, Jamaica tumbles into the abyss once again waiting for young talent to emerge.  The effects will be devastating but nothing we can’t handle.

Soon, athletes will have to make hard decisions. Coaches too.  The Governing body has to do a post mortem. and rid itself of the politics that strangles common sense decision making. Jamaica Athletics has been sitting on its lofty post for 9 years unaware that the World was coming after them.  The US never stopped hating. Now we have South Africa, Botswana. Kenya. Bahamas. China and even Japan knocking at the gates. We cannot afford to mismanage this opportunity. Our economy is too fragile for carelessness.

This industry is too new for bad management and too fragile for mediocrity. Whenever our athletes put their feet on the world stage it has to be perfect. No errors. No excuses.

Bolt was asked at the presser what was it he is looking forward to when this is over. He replied, “..for me, it is just to live normal. To have no training. To do whatever I want. To travel whenever I want. I don’t know where my career will go or what I will do but I look forward to it and the person that I am I will do it at my best.”

He was confident when he said those words.

If only Jamaica’s athletics was as confident to say otherwise.

© 2017. Kwesi. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

HOW SIGNIFICANT WAS BOLT’S 100M WIN?

Bolt

Bolt

By. Neo Makeba

“This means a lot because I’ve been struggling all season, it’s taken me a while to work things out,” Usain Bolt said after the race. “It’s been up and down but it’s OK now.”

People often compare Usain Bolt to Muhammad Ali – not for his political convictions but his charisma, for the effect he has had on his sport, for the impact he has made on the world outside it. This is probably the reason there was such “hype” about this race in Beijing. Especially as some punters had already predicted that USA’s Justin Gatlin would dent his record on the world stage.

The controversial Justin Gatlin came into the final on a 28-race unbeaten run and apparently relishing his role as the sport’s bad guy. Bolt had raced the 100m on just two days this season before arriving in China. So bad was his pelvic injury that not until late July did he record a time that hinted he could even be competitive in Beijing.

What could Bolt possibly do up against the relentless consistency of Gatlin? These have been the American’s times this year: 9.74 secs, 9.75, 9.75, 9.78. In his heat he ran 9.83, in his semi 9.77.

But at the same Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing where Bolt announced himself to the world with two Olympic golds and two world records in 2008, the Jamaican came past a faltering Gatlin at the death to snatch victory by one hundredth of a second!

Bolt’s 9.79 seconds was more than two tenths off his world record, but this was a night for athletics to celebrate victories rather than times.

Arguably the most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen, Usain St Leo Bolt, confirmed his tremendous talents when he realized his dreams by winning a phenomenal three gold medals and breaking three world records at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Bolt became the first man in Olympic history to win both the 100m and 200m races in world record times and then as part of the 4x100m team that also smashed the world record later in the meet. He created history again and became a legend at the 2012 Olympic Games in London by defending all three Olympic titles with 100m, 200m and 4x100m victories, the latter in a new world record time of 36.84 secs.

Photos show Bolt celebrating with his parents and hugging defeated Justin Gatlin,

Usain with Mom and Dad in Beijing

Usain with Mom and Dad in Beijing

sportsman

sportsman

WEEKEND POST IT NOTES

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Its Friday all and the beginning of the weekend. Don’t know your plans however whatever they are make sure its fun, its full of love and its safe. Here’ some weekend tid bits for you to chew on till next week. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRcVQDELAd4

Ok so there is a bru ha ha going on between Robin Thicke’s camp and the estate of Marvin Kaye’s camp  claiming Thicke plagiarized the music of Marvin in Thicke’s new hit ‘Blurred Lines:.  Got to tell you I listened to both music and well lets just say someone was in the room when Marvin was recording his song. But you be the judge. The video above is Marvin and the one below is Thicke. hmmm any similarities? 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qODrhss9ALc

Ben Affleck to be casted as Batman in the new Superman sequel

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/22/ben-affleck-batman-man-of-steel_n_3801418.html?ref=topbar

hmmm now lets figure this one out…so he is riding a hollywood high from his recent Academy wins..check. He is by Hollywood’s standards a box office pull for teens…check…so by Hollywood’s standards he is the money guy..check. Ah well, Batman has always been a boring, monochromatic, dull, stiff, kind of character to which Ben fits the bill perfectly so yup, I agree with the producers…Dull meets Dull. what do you think?

Steroids, Drugs and Rock & Roll

Great title but in the world of sports a tornado is brewing. Seems its was confirmed that Tyson Gay was positive in his drug bust. Powell, Simpson et al are also awaiting their fate at the labs. not only that, the past director of Jamaica’s JADA spew out venom this week over Jamaica’s lack of testing their athletes. This is beginning to be the story of the year. Lets watch this one and see where the wind takes us. What tangled web we weave?

http://www.og.nr/rbt/16926-tyson-gay-tested-positive-for-banned-steroid.html#.UhdaNeBSaFs

http://www.og.nr/permalink/16890#.UhdsouBSaFs

And the final post it note is one that is poignant for the weekend. Its a documentary about the tragedy 3 families have to endure due to careless texting and driving accidents. Not much need to be said except..please Don’t Tex and Drive..it CAN wait. believe me IT CAN.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BqFkRwdFZ0

Have a great weekend all. 

REALITY IS NOTHING- PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING

BOLT

REALITY IS NOTHING- PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING

 If the writer’s intention was to focus on Jamaica’s ‘drug problem’  he has certainly done so but i fear there are a lot of hyped comments and scenarios written in his report. Jamaica’s so called ‘drug problem’ cannot be taken into isolation – it is a much bigger problem than we believe and  NO government is going to 1. put enough resources into the organizations  2. find ‘staff not tainted ‘ to work in the organizations or 3.  deny the fact that they love and crave the  publicity and accolades afforded the country from exploits in Track N filed- so the best thing is to deny the problem exist- everybody does that…EVERYBODY.

Track n field is global of which we are a  major player. It is the human thing to want to create suspicion and rumor because we happen to have the best male and female sprint champions. This article is trying to do just that. 

JADCO, WADA and all the others have a problem. I  still maintain that the recent discoveries and outing of athletes tainted with drugs by the various national drug associations are nothing but an attempt to show the world that look we are working hard at cleaning up the sport and your tax money is not wasted. They would be better served to clean up their associations from the INSIDE ,starting from WADA,  which apparently seems almost impossible to do. The evil that men do are done with such good intentions.  

DRUGS IN SPORTS- Take my Skin, not my Blood

DRUGS IN SPORTS- Take my Skin, not my Blood

Journalist Michael Grant has written an interesting piece on the global reaction and effect the latest doping news has on Jamaica’s reputation and the sports. I wrote my comments to his piece. I open the discussion to hear your point of view as well.

My Response…..

Good angle the writer has chosen . Fair enough we must await the results of the investigation before rushing to  judgement which is a constant human flaw. Seems to me that athletes are by nature prisoners in their sports as the list of items they CANNOT ingest gets bigger every day.

Question is what role is  WADA playing to educate and help the athletes as this writer fairly ask? Playing the gotcha game seems to me more of a gestapo organization than one that works with the athletes. So what is the WADA  charter? Is it to KILL or PROTECT? They will tell you they protect and play its role in educating the athlete. Have you seen the banned list of substances? If these athletes fall sick, they had  better pray or fast.

My belief is this – sure WADA is there to ‘protect’ the image of the sport especially since the East Germans and the US have shown it necessary to do so. But make no mistake its not clean as a whistle as one would hope it to be. Why? Because it is set up by the very people whose long term goal is to garner fame for their country while killing any one that challenges the status quo. Jamaica has dared to challenge the status quo so it is not surprising the reaction from WADA and other doubting Thomas’s.

The line that defines what is legal and what isn’t is as vast as the differences of people that make up WADA. The athletes will be best served if one of their own is directing that agency because when there is an infraction at least WADA won’t take their blood and skin, only their skin.

What are your thoughts on WADA and drugs in sports?