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Jamaica's Up and Coming middle-Long distance program

02/27/10

Permalink 10:17:26 pm, by Skillachi
Categories: Sports, Commentary, News

Jamaica's Up and Coming middle-Long distance program

Jamaica has always had pride in the fact that we've been called the sprint capital of the world. Ever since we first entered the olympics we have basiaclly set ourselves apart as a people with an amazing ability to run really fast over short distances. All Jamaicans who know a little track history will always look back to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics games where Herb McKenley, Les Laing, Arthur Wint and George Rhoden (and lesser known Byron Lebeach) captured a world record and the gold medal in the 4x400m relay, they will Also remember Arthur Wint winning the 400m gold in 1948, Donald Quarrie taking 200m gold in 1976, Deon Hemmings taking 400m hurdles gold in 1996, Merlene Ottey pulling silver and bronze in the 100 and 200m races, and of course the recent exploits of Sherone Simpson, Veronica Campbell, Melaine Walker, Bridgette Foster-Hylton, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Michael Frater in the olympics of 2004 and 2008.

donald quarrie

However the more keen reader (and whoever read the topic header) will realize that all of these victories I have just spoken about are limited to the distance of 400 metres and less. The reason being that simply we have never really had much of a distance heritage. Maybe its that we are impatient and prefer to be over with things quickly, or maybe we just find those distances dont entice is with the excitement that we are used to with the shorter distance races. But for whatever reason we really dont like running longer distances. However it seems that with the recent rise in interest in track and field, Jamaica has started to field more entrants in the middle-long distance events and our times in those events have improved to the point where we have people who in a few years may seriously contend in the olympics for medals.

In fact our middle-long distance drought has been of such a nature that we actually have a 33 year old national record in the 800 meter event, set by Seymour Newman a past Wolmerian (Age Quod Agis!!) who even though he was top class at the national level, could not manage to pull a medal in the olympics. Now in case you dont realize just how long 33 years is, look at the fact that almost every year at every level in sprinting Jamaicans break and reset records with the relative ease of tieing a shoelace. Even today at the Gibson relays at least 4 records were broken in some events.

However most avid watchers will realize that our long distance program has increased somewhat over the years. In fact today the boys class 1 4x800 race had around 26 entrants into the event, simply maths will tell you that that means a total of 104 boys took part in the event. In addition athletes such as Kemoy Campbell (current holder of the national 1500 and 5000 metre records) who continue to excell in long distance events.

kemoy campbell

With this increase in the distances it shows a changing of the mindset of Jamaican athletes who now are attempting to excell at all levels and we hope will eventually take the sport to higher heights and continue making Jamaicans proud to be Jamaican. Middle-long distance running is on a rise in Jamaica and knowing our constant need to be the best at everything we do, I would like to warn the rest of the world that Jamaica is coming, you should all be shaking in your boots, we might just have another Usain Bolt somewhere in our midst.

Bolt

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Sister Mary Margaret

SISTER MARGARET MARY, WHO WORKS FOR A LOCAL HOME HEALTH AGENCY WAS OUT MAKING HER ROUNDS WHEN SHE RAN OUT OF GAS.

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT A GAS STATION WAS JUST A BLOCK AWAY.

SHE WALKED TO THE STATION TO BORROW A CAN OF GAS TO START & THEN DRIVE TO THE STATION FOR A FILL UP.

THE ATTENDANT REGRETFULLY TOLD HER THE ONLY GAS CAN HE OWNED HAD BEEN LOANED OUT BUT IF SHE WOULD WAIT, IT WAS SURE TO BE BACK SHORTLY.

SINCE THE NUN ! WAS ON THE WAY TO SEE A PATIENT SHE DECIDED NOT TO WAIT & SHE WALKED BACK TO THE CAR. AFTER LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO FILL WITH GAS, SHE SPOTTED A BEDPAN SHE WAS TAKING TO THE PATIENT.

ALWAYS RESOURCEFUL, SHE CARRIED IT TO THE STATION & FILLED IT WITH GASOLINE, & CARRIED IT TO HER CAR.

AS SHE WAS POURING THE GAS INTO THE TANK, TWO MEN WERE WATCHING FROM ACROSS THE STREET. ONE OF THEM TURNED TO THE OTHER & SAID, "IF IT STARTS, I'M TURNING CATHOLIC".

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