Jamaican athletes have been golden on the Olympic track in London as the Caribbean country celebrates its 50th independence anniversary.
A lightning fast Usain Bolt regained his 100-metre title, setting a new Olympic mark in the short sprint with a 9.63 secs. dash which is .06 secs. faster than his Beijing performance. The World and Olympic record holder also dispelled fears he may have lost some of his sting after losing both sprints to Yohan Blake at last month’s national championships in Jamaica which was also the Olympic qualifier.
“There were a lot of people saying that I wasn’t going to win,” said Bolt who is a five-time World and four-time Olympic gold medallist. “There was a lot of talk. For me, it was an even greater feeling to come out and show the world I’m still the No. 1. I’m still the best.”
Blake, Bolt’s training partner, was second in the sprint dash in 9.75 secs.
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce successfully defended her 100-metre crown becoming just the third woman to win successive Olympic sprint events. The 25-year-old’s winning time was 10.75 secs. Fellow Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown captured the bronze medal.
Fraser added a silver medal to her treasure chest, finishing second in the 200-metre final in a personal best 22.09 secs.
As of Wednesday, Jamaica captured its sixth medal at the Games when Hansle Parchment won a bronze medal in the 110-metre hurdles in 13.12 secs.
Grenada was in a celebratory mood as the country won its first ever Olympic gold medal – a gold, no less — through teenager Kirani James who clinched the 400-metre event in 43.94 secs.
The island’s Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas, said James’ victory was a “historic performance” and declared last Tuesday a half-holiday.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon won a bronze medal in the 400-metre event in 44.52 secs. He joined 1964 silver medallist Wendell Mottley as the only twin-island republic athlete to win Olympic medals in the middle distance event.
Eighteen-year-old Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic clinched a silver medal in the event by running 44.46 secs.
His countryman, Felix Sanchez, won the 400-metre hurdles in a time of 47.63 secs. Santos, 34, won an Olympic gold medal in the same event at the 2004 Athens Games. At the Beijing Games in 2008, he woke up on the day of his preliminary heat to the news that his grandmother had died. Sanchez thought about dropping out but decided to run, and finished with the 22nd-fastest time of 25 finishers.
“I ran terribly. I cried the whole day. I was very emotional,” said Sanchez. “After that Olympics, I made a promise that I was going to win a medal for her.”
By RON FANFAIR
With files from Tony Wright