Once every four years, the Olympics comes around. This time, Team Jamaica will be without the greatest Olympic track and field athlete of all time in Usain Bolt. After winning three gold medals at the Rio Olympics, Usain retired. He officially hung up his track shoes at the 2017 World Championships. Bolt was a must-watch on TV every time he ran in a race. This year will be the first time since 2000 that Bolt will not take part in an Olympic race. It’s now up to the younger set of runners to help Jamaica carry home more medals.
All of Jamaica comes to a standstill when someone from our country is running in a race. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Elaine Thompson, and Yohan Blake are some other runners that brought joy to Jamaica during the time of the Olympics. Track and field is Jamaica’s best sport, where we consistently medal during major championship races.
For the women’s 100-meter, Jamaica has a great trio of runners that will most likely make the Olympic team. Thompson is the reigning 100-meter champion. She took home the gold at the Rio Olympics by beating some of the best female athletes in the world.
Fraser Pryce is the greatest female sprinter of all-time. She won back-to-back 100-meter titles at the Beijing and London Olympics. Fraser-Pryce received bronze during the 100-meter race in Rio, and she recently won the 100-meter world title at the World Championships in Doha.
Briana Williams is the last of the trio of runners who are most likely to qualify for the Olympics. She is the future of Jamaica’s track and field. She set the national high school 100-meter record when she ran 10.94. Some athletes aren’t running so fast, and Williams set that record during her teenage years. With a little more experience prior to the Olympics, Williams can compete for a gold medal. Jamaica has a great chance to win gold, silver, and bronze in the women’s 100-meter.
On the men’s side, the 100-meter is looking shaky. No one has distinguished themselves from the pack. Blake is the person who most people will look at as someone who might earn a medal if everything breaks right. At the moment, the picture isn’t clear on the men’s side on who will represent Jamaica in the 100-meter in Tokyo. However, the favorite to win gold is Christian Coleman of the USA. Noah Lyles is also someone to watch from team USA. He has a chance to win the 100 if he executes his race properly.
The women’s 200-meter race is another great opportunity for Jamaica to get another medal. Thompson and Fraser-Pryce will probably run the 200-meter. Thompson is also the reigning 200-meter champion from Rio. Fraser-Pryce will be a contender in this race because she is good at running the turn and this is one key to winning at this distance.
Once again, there are no clear favorites for Jamaica on the men’s side of the 200-meter race. Bolt’s retirement left a big void on the men’s side. The favorite at this distance will most likely be Lyles from team USA.
Jamaica has been improving in the field events. Tajay Gayle recently won gold in the long jump at the World Championships. This was Jamaica’s first-ever gold medal in the long jump. He will be the favorite to medal for Jamaica. Fedrick Dacres won silver in the men’s Discus in Doha. Also, in women shotput, Danniel Thomas-Dodd won silver at the Doha World Championships and she will be a big contender for a medal in Tokyo for team Jamaica. Shanieka Ricketts won silver in the women’s triple jump at the same World Championships.
Winning four medals in the field events during a major track meet was unprecedented for Jamaica. This showed the progress we as a country have made in these events. If all the field event athletes perform to the level they showed in Doha, then Jamaica has a chance to take home another four medals in these events. Also, Jamaica will be medal contenders in the women’s 4*100 relays and 4*400-meter relay.
In Jamaica, we have a saying “We little but we Tallawah.” This means that even though we are a small nation, our people are strong-minded and very determined, and boundaries won’t restrain us.