Men’s 100m FINAL
Usain Bolt was beaten in his last race! He got the Bronze.
Young Christian Coleman got Silver and fellow rival, Yohan Blake finished 4th. That leaves Justin Gatlin!
Gatlin who has been quiet all season with a point to prove, proved his point, quieting the boos from the crowd who haven’t forgiven him for his doping suspension even though he served his time.
Gatlin made it look deceiving in the Semis. He placed 2nd to Akani Simbine in the slowest SemiFinal, drawing Lane 8, possibly so he could be far from Bolt in the Final and see everyone who couldn’t see him.
What happened to Usain Bolt?!
Bolt’s preparation was probably the worst ever for this season with a loss of 3 weeks to his friend’s Germaine Mason’s death as well as more time due to injuries.
His body gave up on him too. With age and injuries on top of a bad start, he could no longer power himself past the 50 or 60m line to destroy his field of opponents. He did everything physically possible to reach the line with Coleman and Gatlin. But it still wasn’t good enough because he is not used to being so far behind coming up to the line with no power. He panicked and started to lean too early. With his foot across the line early and the 2nd slowest reaction time of 0.183 in the race to Coleman’s 0.123 and Gatlin’s 0.138, he ran the fastest race.
If Usain took one more step as the taller man, just as Coleman did, I believe he would have edged out Gatlin for the win.
So it wasn’t a surprising result, but a disappointing result. It was a fairytale ending that wasn’t meant to be. It not only showed that Bolt is human, but it was a lesson taught and inspiration to many, that if you try hard enough, you can beat the best and be the best. After the best have won over and over again, a small part of the motivation to win is lost as well.
Gatlin could never beat Usain at his best or in good shape. However, Bolt still reigned as the fastest man in the world and we cannot discredit Gatlin’s determination after never being able to beat Bolt, to finally beat him and win the Gold at his age. Sadly it happened at a time when Bolt will not run another race to answer. Bolt was gracious in defeat and we should be too.
Bolt said to Jamaica – ‘Sorry about that’. He knows how we can be with just one disappointment on the big stage. He surely cannot please everyone. Let us remember that if it was entirely up to Bolt he would have retired at the RIO Olympics 2016, but under the encouragement and influence of PUMA and the IAAF, they wanted him to come back to Worlds for a filled stadium and for the fans. We saw how hard it was for Usain to get the Gold in the 100m at RIO, much less a year later. I would have preferred for him to finish winning as most of us would, but there are others who may not care about the results of his last race, whether it was a win, lose or draw. They just wanted to see him run one more time. Thankfully he was realistic with himself and left his winning streak in his preferred 200m event, safe.
Bolt led a winning era for us from 2008 Beijing. That is almost a decade. We have a lot to be thankful for. So this brings me to Elaine Thompson losing in the Women’s 100m FINAL.
It was considered sure money for Elaine to win the Women’s 100m. She had the winning time, jogging in the Semis. So to place 5th, something must have gone wrong. None of us wanted that to happen at such a huge event, where we expected her to deliver Gold to lift Jamaica after Usain’s Bronze the day before. What made it worse?
Tori Bowie (10.85) of the USA won Gold. She dipped at the line to edge out Ivory Coast’s Marie Josée Ta Lou (10.84) who got Silver and Dafne Schippers got the Bronze (10.96).
What went wrong for Elaine?!
Thankfully, she did not injure herself. She has been suffering with an achilles tendon injury, but this did not play a part in her loss.
She stated that she stumbled coming out of the drive phase, isn’t sure why and could not recover fast enough to pass the others who were already far ahead of her to the finish line.
Our local tv panel explained how this was possible. With her running at such a fast speed, to come out of a drive phase quickly would be like hitting a wall. We saw when she literally jerked back at about 50m. To lose focus or for something to go wrong for just a few thousandths of a second in an 11-second race, the field would already have left her behind. She still showed great effort to finish 5th. I have witnessed our Pcket rocket, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce come last in a 100m Diamond league race because she failed to recover from a bad start. People wondered what went wrong but she wasn’t crucified for it because it was not a big race.
These things can happen and she was in good spirits to continue with the 4×100m, refusing to blame the loss on anything else that was going on. As it later came out that she was seen vomiting in the warm up area after the Semis.
So yes this may have happened to Elaine but we didn’t even take the time to consider it and haven’t accepted it because we are looking at the bigger picture that it was another win for the USA in the sprint. Her coach, Stephen Francis also let her put all her eggs in one basket since she is not entered to run the 200m.
It is also a huge upset because USA has been our biggest rival for years. We have been on top for almost a decade and trust me, it took what seems like forever to get there. In a time where it was speculated more than half of the USA athletes were on drugs and doping regulations were not as strict, we painfully watched our hard working athletes such as Merlene Ottey, Juliet Cuthbert, Grace Jackson and more, get Silver and Bronze medals time and time again, always falling short of the Gold. We cried with them each time. We were also stuck watching the extremely biased USA feed to go along with it, rubbing salt into our wounds. We suffered. As a result, when Sprint athletes like Marion Jones and Justin Gatlin were given doping bans, it was like we were finally being freed from a great injustice. But so much damage had been done already, for instance with the Women’s 100m World record being totally unattainable, it left us being a bitter nation. So with the field leveled at a time when we had young and upcoming athletes like Usain bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, along with the veteran Veronica Campbell Brown and more, the timing was right for total redemption in Beijing 2008. Jamaica showed total dominance in the sprints with both the Men and the Women, shocking the Americans who thought it was a one-time fluke. But oh no, this continued to RIO 2016. We have not only been spoilt but developed an arrogance through bitterness.
All is not lost though. It is a change of the guard and we may have to wait again until others rise, but Elaine is still young and as she said, she has many more races to come.
There is a good outlook for us in Field events too. Fedrick Dacres finished 4th in the Discus throw. It was not his personal best, but that will come at the right time once he keeps working at it. We had Traves Smikle, who also made it to the Final round.
We also have …
Young Omar McLeod won Gold in the Men’s 110m, lifting Jamaica’s spirits and dedicated the Gold to Usain Bolt.
So keep the faith and be patient Jamaica. Stand by our Athletes win or lose because we are a talented nation and again we will RISE.
Continue to enjoy the sport, stay tuned for today’s Schedule that starts later this afternoon with hot races to look out for!
By: Gabrielle Burgess
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