Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, says yesterday’s (August 20), record breaking performances of Usain Bolt and Melaine Walker at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin, Germany, show that Jamaicans can set the highest standards in the world and attain the highest heights on the grandest stages.
Mr. Bolt reduced his own 200 metres world record to 19.19 seconds and in the process established his second world record of the meet, following his 9.58 seconds run in the 100 metres on Sunday (August 16), while Miss Walker took the 400 metres hurdles in a championship record time of 52.42 seconds.
Miss Grange said the athletes’ sensational performances should be a source of inspiration for all Jamaicans and a reminder that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. “They have gone out and demonstrated that which is best in Jamaicans. They have taken their country to the top of world athletics and their efforts will inspire generations of Jamaicans for many decades. They have put in the hard work and every person in Jamaica should believe they can achieve the very best in their field as well,” she said.
The Minister was at track side to greet the sprinters as they took their victory laps.
Usain Bolt (left), with his father, Wellesley, at track side, following his world record run in the 200 Metres at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany, on August 20.
She told Mr. Bolt that he had taken Jamaica to new heights and the country remained proud of his tremendous achievements.
“Once again you have demonstrated that you are special. You have earned your place among the greatest Jamaicans of all time and you are a credit to your country and the world. You have put the name ‘Jamaica’ on the lips of people of all nationalities and languages and your country owes you a debt of gratitude. We thank you,” Miss Grange said.
She told Miss Walker that she has proven herself a formidable champion in establishing herself at the top of her event. “I know that your season had not always gone to plan. But you showed grit and determination and hung in there and you have the results to show. You are a true queen of the track and you have done yourself and your country proud. Jamaica cherishes your successes and we know that there is even more to come from you,” the Minister told her.
Miss Grange also had words of encouragement for Dwight Thomas and Maurice Wignall who failed to finish among the medals in the Men’s 110 metres hurdles as well as Aleen Bailey and Nicholas Gordon who failed to progress past the first round of the men’s long jump.
Three Jamaicans have advanced to the final of the women’s 200 metres. Olympic champion, Veronica-Campbell Brown will be joined by Anneisha McLaughlin and Simone Facey in what is expected to be a fierce battle between Jamaica and the United States.