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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 16, 2008

Why mi Asafa so bad.

A Jamaican friend of mine is suffering deep psychological trauma, diagnozed as "recurring-Asafa-has-turned-in-another-defeat" (RAHTID) syndrome. The symptoms have developed throughout the day since this morning's first human wingless flight in Beijing. Reactions have included a violent sneezing fit brought on by the mere mention of the words Bolt, Usain, stupendous, incredible, or references to sprint double. So, we had to escape and try to drown her sorrows in the sandy oasis called Hellshire Beach, just outside Kingston, where we were immersed in some seriously mystical Ital herbal medicines, which some smoked, some inhaled, and others watched being administered. We also took some rustic cures that involved lobsters, fried fish, fish soup, and roasted breadfruit. The morose expression and lassitude were reversed only by the presentation of a fried lobster, whose spines reminded her of Bolt's legs and she loved breaking every single one with her teeth. However, no sooner had the symptoms begun to dissipate, than there would be yet another excruciating replay of the 100 metres final, and new treatment was needed.Where you gonna run? Where you gonna hide?

She is still "kinda frass", as Jamaicans say, meaning pretty frustrated, that her heart-throb has once again let her down by not bringing home the gold medal in his speciality event. She is not yet consoled that another Jamaican will dance his way back with this in his hand. Yes, Bolt's performance was electrifying, but the shock of Asafa's defeat needs many days of healing.

She was tired of all the "bad mouthing" before the Games that Asafa cannot handle the pressure of the big international events. Now, she is even more weary as this continues after the latest defeat. One of Jamaica's great athletes, turned commentator, Grace Jackson, was fanning the flames last night by saying that Asafa now needs to "go back to the drawing board" and have "mental training" for how to run in the big events. I have a feeling that my friend is going nuts and would like to do to Miss Grace what Jesse Jackson said he wanted to do to Obama. Her face says "Woman, you wan' me draw board cross you mout'?"

Asafa is not helping the healing of this syndrome with his admission that this time he did not have the legs to run four rounds at the Olympics. What him a train for? Getting eliminated in the semis? Cooyah! I'm not sure how you can go to the Olympics and win in four rounds if you only have legs for three. His mother is unwittingly supporting the nay sayers by admitting that Asafa does not like pressure, but added that he seemed to have had the pressure taken off him with the pre-race hype over Usain. Plenty of Jamaicans will wonder if Asafa is playing ginnal. We may need a long time to bolt down the real problem. I believe Asafa genuinely struggles on the biggest stage--hard to explain, but the results point that way. But, my friend is not being run down by these blips. She is still going to watch him wash his cars in the drive way, be ready to give him imaginary back rubs, and love him up till the next big test.

1 comment:

Stephenie said...

I also know someone suffering from these symptoms. She is defiantely with a shadow of a doubt Asafa's number one fan!