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Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Credit where it's due.

The Americans have had less than a spectacular time on the track and in the field at Beijing, and they have already begun the expected soul searching (see report). But they got some warranted "time in the sun" tonight in the moonlight of China. They took both long relays. In both races, all but the last teams ran an Olympic record, season's best or national record; that's what you aim for at the Games. Jamaica's team took bronze in the women's race, and the main trailed in a tired, and disappointed-looking last in the men's race. No debate about "Should Usain have run..." I imagine that at least his legs are tired and the team was good enough for a possible medal, and deserved to be left to decide their own destiny; that's sometimes how it goes in team events.

But, I cannot resist telling you that I rooted for the Americans really hard in the women's race, as Sanya Richards looked at the back of the Russian runner midway down the home straight, with the Jamaican team safely in third spot. Then she fixed on a simple strategy: I can see you, and know how your legs are, and I want the gold that I missed in the individual race. She clawed and dug and made it to the line and I celebrated as hard as if it were the Jamaican team. I've run those sort of races and those come-from-behind wins in the really are so sweet.

But why was I rooting for an American?

Because...as...life...would...have it...Sanya is a Jamaican. Born in Kingston in the mid-1980s and going to the US at age 12; she only took US citizenship in 2002--the year that she competed for them in the World Junior Championships in Kingston. That's where Usain broke out onto the world. So, more sweet bitterness. Sanya's family in Jamaica and the US must be really happy and I hope that someone on CVM or TVJ is creative enough to get some sense of that interesting twist.

1 comment:

Star Boy said...

Yes star, wi hav fi root/cheer fi Sanya Richards.She ran a very bold and determined race.Sanya a still one a wi,she is still a dawta of the BLACK,GREEN and GOLD, even though she a run fi di red,white and blue.Kudos Sanya, excellent finish in the womens 400m relay.