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Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has said that the country’s athletes at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, are performing beyond the expectations of the nation.
Speaking at today’s (August 20), post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Mr. Golding said many Jamaicans knew that the country was sending a strong contingent, blessed with depth and talent. “But the way in which they are performing, has exceeded the expectations of most Jamaicans,” the Prime Minister said.
“It’s more than just what the athletes are doing. I think that it is a reminder to us, and this is what I think is really exciting the Jamaican people, of just how powerful we are, how talented we are, how capable we are, the kind of capacity we have for great things,” he pointed out.
Thus far, Jamaican athletes have garnered seven medals, four gold and three silver, at the Games. Usain Bolt has accounted for two gold medals, one in the blue ribbon 100 metres for men, where he shattered the record, clocking 9.69 seconds. He also ran an astounding 19.30 seconds in the 200 metres, to shatter the 12 year-old record of 19.32 seconds.
Jamaica also mined gold in the 100 metres for women, with Shelly-Ann Fraser clocking 10.78 seconds to win that event, which saw two other Jamaicans, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart, tying for second place to earn silver medals.
The country has also earned a gold medal in the 400 metre hurdles for women, won by Melaine Walker, and a silver medal in the 400-metre flat event for women, which went to Shericka Williams.
Mr. Golding said Jamaica has emerged as the star of the Olympics, noting that the nation is being talked about at the Games.
“It is the Jamaican athletes that are being sought after, not just by journalists, but by promoters of one kind and another. There is absolutely no doubt that this will be our most successful Olympics ever,” he pointed out.
Mr. Golding said that Jamaica’s success in the Games, thus far, has served to bring the nation together in a way not often seen.
“Indeed, the last time I saw this sort of feeling, perhaps, was when we qualified for the World Cup in France. The jury may not be out too long to determine which one has greater power, in terms of bringing our people together, focussing our people, and letting us realise that, not only are we one people, but also reminding us of just how powerful we are, and how much we have achieved. It is a moment that must not be lost. It is a moment that must be consolidated and invested for the long term good of Jamaica,” the Prime Minister emphasised.