Think Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, and Michael Frater are tough to beat? Well, things may get worse if you’re a sprinter and you’re not from Jamaica.
That’s the news from Donovan Bailey, the Canadian 100m gold medallist (Atlanta, 1996) and former world-record holder. Bailey, originally from Jamaica, knows his running and he understands why Jamaica’s at the top right now. In a nice Jeff Blair article in The Globe & Mail, Bailey discusses the coaching, training, and environment that’s led to all those medals and the current world record 4x100m team, among many other things. “They have an insurmountable amount of talent coming up,” Bailey claims.
Why? Bailey explains: “What they have in Jamaica that you don’t get elsewhere is the hunger for competition that starts at five, six, seven and eight years old. It’s like Canadian kids and hockey.” Sound familiar? A competitive environment and a culture around a particular sport produces athletes who become the best in the world.
With the London Olympics set to begin next July, the sight of Jamaicans on the sprint podiums can’t be far behind.