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Tokyo 2020 Olympics | The Establishment of the Jamaican Queens to Global Olympic Dominance

For the first time ever, the Jamaican sprint queens are ruling the roost. You just have to give it to them this time around. They have just ...

For the first time ever, the Jamaican sprint queens are ruling the roost. You just have to give it to them this time around. They have just become the toast of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.


Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Shericka Jackson

Historically, Jamaican Athletics’ Teams have been dominated by their boys’ influence more than their female counterparts. Despite the girls also bringing in a number of top medals over the years it is the boys that have always attracted global headlines and attention. You talk of the iconic legend Usain St. Leo Bolt; the officially recorded fastest human being to ever grace this planet earth who set the current 100 metres world record of 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany. No one has ever surpassed that record including Bolt himself. Add to that list the speed merchant Johan Blake, multiple championship winners Nesta Carter and Asafa Powell, and the rest of the other sprint kings both at junior and senior teams; and you have the most compact athletics dream team ever.

However at Tokyo 2020 Olympics the Jamaican gender narrative has changed. The girls are now on top of their game. They have been dominating the global headlines with aplomb. Yes the likes of the highly decorated and Olympic gold medalists; Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, and the electric Shericka Jackson. These girls have been on the global map in their track events for quite some time winning one accolade after another, but the boys would always overshadow their sprint queens. Albeit to say, the girls are setting the record straight with unbelievable records in Tokyo. Rarely will the world ever see three country athletes coming in the top three of a world 100 metres final at the Olympics. When it happens it is a feat worth champagne popping. At the Rio 2016 Olympics, Elaine took gold while Shelly-Ann settled for bronze, with the US sprint queen Torie Bowie coming in-between them to claim silver. Not this time in Tokyo. It is a clean sweep for Jamaican ladies with Shericka coming into the picture.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Shericka Jackson

In the 100 metres Tokyo 2020 Olympics women final, Elaine took the gold in style racing at 10.61 seconds and setting a new Olympic Record; breaking Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 10.62 seconds record set at the Seoul 1988 Olympics. Shelly-Ann took silver while Shericka took home the bronze. All three lining up in the same national colours to receive their honours is a global showpiece. What a time to be alive and witness such greatness.

Despite the Jamaican sprint kings dominating the Olympics before, they have never taken a clean sweep of all the top three medals at one go. At Beijing 2008 Olympics, Usain Bolt took gold in the 100 metres final in 9.69 seconds, but his fellow countryman Asafa Powell could only manage a fourth place finish. The closest bit was at the London 2012 Olympics when Bolt and his younger Jamaican compatriot Johan Blake took gold and silver respectively with Bolt setting a new Olympic Record of 9.63 seconds. But the US sprint king Justin Gatlin came in the mix and took the bronze medal. In the same race, another the seasoned Asafa Powell finished a disappointing seventh as per the official records with the only athlete behind him being the US sprint record holder Tyson Gay who was later on disqualified due to doping. It was never a clean sweep for the Jamaican boys.

At Rio 2016 Olympics Bolt took gold again in 9.81 seconds, but the seasoned Justin Gatlin and Andre De Grasse of Canada took silver and bronze respectively. Johan Blake finished fourth just like his fellow countryman Powell at Beijing 2008. It was never meant to be a clean sweep for the Jamaican boys.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Shericka Jackson

Since the retiring of Usain Bolt, other world sprint kings seem to have taken over the mantle away from the Jamaicans. In the recent Tokyo 2020 100 metres men’s final there was not even a single Jamaican to push for accolades as both Johan Blake and Oblique Seville, Jamaica’s newest sprinting sensation, failed to qualify for the men’s final. The Jamaicans’ hope was resting much more on Blake’s shoulders who still retains the joint-second fastest world record with US’s Tyson Gay at 9.69 seconds. But when Blake came second behind the unheralded Australian sprint star Rohan Browning in the qualifying heats, the writing was already on the wall for the demise of the Jamaican boys’ dominance on the sprint athletics scene. Eventually both Blake and Seville bowed out in the semi-finals. And the Tokyo 2020 men’s final gave birth to new sprint kings with Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Italy winning gold in 9.80 seconds, the surprise US package Fred Kerley taking silver at 9.84 seconds in his inaugural 100 metres try at Olympics, and the well-established Canadian sprinter Andre de Grasse came into the picture again winning bronze in 9.89 seconds. And for first time in many years, there is no a Jamaican boy to talk about in a men’s 100 metres Olympic final. Does this say something?

Away from the boys, Elaine Thompson-Herah has also retained her Olympic 200 metres gold medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She won the same accolade at Rio 2016. However, Shelly-Ann just managed to come fourth in the same race while Shericka this time failed to qualify for the 200 metres final. But the message is very clear; this is the time and moment for Jamaican sprint queens to be recognised and appreciated for their superstardom. In the coming days, the Jamaican girls also stand a chance of winning another medal in relays competition.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Shericka Jackson

Mover over the Jamaican boys, and let the world hail the Jamaican sprint queens: Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, and Shericka Jackson.

To be continued.

Written by:

Tapiwa Zuze®

Elaine Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, Shericka Jackson

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