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Jamaica a Track and Field Superpower

The curtains came down on August 12 on what was an outstanding Olympic Games for Jamaica, with the country earning a record 12 medals.

The medal haul, which comprises four gold, four silver and four bronze, is the most since the country entered its first Games in 1948, also in London.  The impressive performance by the athletes placed the country of 2.9 million in 18th place overall, and fourth in the track and field category, behind the United States (29), and Russia (18), proving that the country is indeed a superpower in the world of athletics.

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Jamaica was first on the medal table among English-speaking Caribbean countries in terms of number and quality of medals.

Trinidad and Tobago ended the Games with four medals including one gold in the javelin after an impressive throw by 19 year-old, Keshorn Walcott, who upset a strong field. The Bahamas also won one gold in the 4×400 metres men’s relay, beating traditional winners, the US.

The other major accomplishment by an English-speaking Caribbean country came earlier in the competition, when Grenada’s Kirani James demolished the 400 metres field to claim the gold medal, the first for his country. In the process, he became one of a small group of 400 runners to dip under the 44 seconds barrier.

Pride of place in terms of medals won and impact on these Games, however goes to Jamaica.  

For the national team, there are a lot of bouquets to share, however, special mention must be made of Usain Bolt; Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce; Veronica Campbell-Brown; Yohan Blake, Warren Weir, and Hansle Parchment, who joined Bolt as individual medal winners on the men’s side; and members of the three medal-winning relay teams.

Bolt was undoubtedly the toast of the Games, defending his sprint titles in impressive style, and his anchoring of Jamaica’s 4×100 relay team in breaking the world record, was the proverbial icing on the cake.

Few among the spectators, who saw his amazing performance, would not have been grateful to have shared in a part of the history that resulted.

Indeed, a record 80,000 tweets per minute were sent immediately after Bolt won his gold medal in the 200 metres.