JIS News

Members of the Senate today (June 24) lauded the recent triumph of Jamaican track athlete, Asafa Powell, in breaking the world record in the 100-metre sprint. Powell won a recent track event in Athens, boasting a newly etched record of 9.77 seconds. Moving to acknowledge Powell’s record-breaking achievement, Opposition Senator, Prudence Kidd-Deans offered hearty congratulations to the young athlete. Speaking against the background of Powell’s success as well as those of other athletes at last summer’s Olympic games, Senator Kidd-Deans said: “we can take the same constructive attitude and assist them in the best way we possibly can, because we have a lot of Asafa Powells out there and a lot of Veronica Campbells.”
Meanwhile, State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn, recalled that when he first heard news of Powell breaking the world record, he was with a Jamaican delegation led by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to the G-77 and China Second Summit in Doha, Qatar. “The news hit that meeting like a whirlwind,” he informed the House, adding, “not only did it hit the meeting like a whirlwind, it was extremely difficult to keep the agenda as it was then, based on the information [we received].”
Senator Franklyn said all the attention at the meeting momentarily turned to Jamaica. “All the leaders there began to congratulate the Jamaican delegation of Powell’s achievements,” he said, noting that the news “was able to shift the focus of the meeting and put [Jamaica’s name] once again on the front pages of every paper that came out of that side of the world.”
Noting that Powell was a “home-grown athletic talent”, having received his coaching and training at the High Performance Centre at the University of Technology, Minister Franklyn argued that his achievement was proof that Jamaica was capable of producing outstanding athletes on its own coaching merits.
“Some are of the view that if we are not in contact or assisted or coached by persons outside of Jamaica, we will not be able to overcome. It is a point that is not lost on us,” Senator Franklyn said.
Offering his own congratulations, Leader of Opposition Business, Senator Anthony Johnson, echoed Senator Franklyn’s sentiments of the country’s ability to produce first-class results. “We have the capacity not only to produce the giants physically but also to train them, to guide them, to mentor them,” he noted.
Senator Johnson also lauded the athlete’s parents, Reverend and Mrs. Powell, for raising a disciplined young man and instilling in him, good Christian morals.