Top 5 Jamaican Athletes
When the name Jamaica and sports are mentioned, some names that may cross one’s mind are Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt. These two have been the fastest men in the 100 meters race in the world championship.
The general sports that are played in the country are those that were introduced by the British.
Other than track and field events that the country’s athletes participate in, Crickets is the most popular sport. Other sports include football, rugby and netball.
The Jamaican national cricket team has won 7 WICB and 10 Regional Four Days Competitions.
Some Jamaican players took part in the West Indies cricket team that was played in 1975 and 1979.
Here are the top 5 Jamaican athletes.
1. Asafa Powell
Asafa Powell is a famous Jamaican sprinter that has specialized in the 100 and 200-metre races. He is the only sprinter that was able to win the 100 and 200-metre races in three successive Olympics.
He has set the world record twice in the 100 metres race in 2005 and 2008 Olympics with a time of 9.77 seconds and 9.75 seconds respectively.
Powell is considered to be the only sprinter that constantly broke the 10-second barrier in the competition.
His personal best time was 9.72 seconds, he was among the top 4 fastest men in the 100 metres race.
By 2016, Powell had broken the 10-second barrier 97 times, more than any other athlete, his desire of hitting the 100 marks has been hindered by injuries.
He is the current world record holder for the 100-metre race with 9.09 seconds in the Olympics held in Ostrava, the Czech Republic in 2010.
Powell also participated in the 4 by 100 relay in the 2016 Rio Olympics and won a gold medal.
2. Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt is a 33-year-old Jamaican sprinter often regarded as the fastest man in the world. He once raced a horse and came in a decent second.
Bolt has won three gold medals at the Olympic Games that were held in Beijing in 2008.
During the same Olympics, he became the first man in Olympic history to win both the 100 metre and 200-metre races in record time.
Bolt shone again in the 2012 summer Olympics held in London. He won three gold medals and set a new record of 9.63 seconds on the men’s 100-metre race. He set three world records in a single Olympic game.
In 2016, Bolt made history again when he won 3 gold medals in the 100, 200 and 4 by 100 meters relay in three consecutive Olympics.
He set the world record at the 2009 Berlin World Championship with the best time of 9.58 seconds, breaking the previous record held by Asafa Powell of 9.75 seconds in 2008.
During that race, Bolt ran at a top speed of 27.8 miles per hour between 60 and 80 metres at an average speed of 23.5 miles per hour.
He is an 11-time record holder and world champion in the 100 meters race by 9.58 seconds, 200 meters race by 19.19 seconds both were set at the 2009 Berlin World Athletics Championships.
By the time Bolt retired, he had won a total of 9 gold medals in his sprinting career.
Bolt is a recipient of several awards; he received the IAAF World Athlete of the Year twice, Track and Field Athlete of the Year, and Laureus Sportsman of the Year.
Throughout his career, Bolt has participated in the triple-triple races in three summer Olympic games and won all three.
This record was previously held by Paavo Nurmi of Finland and Carl Lewis of the United States.
Bolt suffered one setback in his career when he was stripped of one medal in the 4 by 100-meter relay after one of his teammates tested positive for doping.
3. Veronica Campbell-Brown
The next athlete is Veronica Campbell- Brown, she is among the most adorned Jamaican female athletes in track and field history.
She specializes in the 100-metres and 200-metres races. She is an 8-times Olympic medallist and the second woman in history to win two consecutive Olympic events in the 200-metres race.
Veronica is among 9 athletes that have held the successive record of winning in the World Championships from the youth, junior, and senior-level in an athletics event.
In 2018, Veronica only competed in one 100-metres race that happened in France. She took a break from racing because of pregnancy.
Her personal best record is 10.76 seconds for the 100-metres race and 21.74 seconds in the 200-metres race.
She won the gold medal during the 2007 World Championships Athletics in the 100-metres and the 200-metres race during the 2011 Athletics World Championships.
Veronica is also a silver and bronze medallist recipient from the athletics World Championships and a two-time champion at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.
In 2009, Veronica was appointed as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and she vowed to use the role to promote gender equity in sports.
She has won a total of 46 medals in her sprinting career.
4. Elaine Thompson
Elaine Thompson is a double Olympic sprint champion. She won the 100-metres and 200-metres race at the 2013 Olympics for her country.
She also won the silver medal in 200-metres during the 2015 IAAF World outdoor championship and a bronze medal the following year in the IAAF Indoor championships.
Elaine, however, suffered an Achilles injury in 2016. She competed in the 2017 Diamond League with special sprinting shoes to aid her during the competition.
She finished third, her time was 11.02 seconds.
She planned to end her career after the close of the 2018 season due to her injury. However, she went back to training for the outdoor games in 2019 in Doha.
She pulled out of the 200-metres and 4 by 100-metres relay races after qualifying due to a flare-up of the Achilles.
5. Novlene Williams-Mills
Novlene Williams-Mills is the final but not least Jamaican track and field athlete on our list today.
She is a bronze medallist in the 400-metres race at the 2007 World Championships. She is also a three-time Olympic medallist in the 4 by 400 metres relay.
Back in 2012, Novlene was diagnosed with breast cancer just before that year’s Olympics.
This news did not dampen her spirit in competing. She ran and came in third winning the bronze medal.
After the Olympics, she had the first mastectomy and the second one in 2013. She stated that she would later state that she would run to represent all the breast cancer survivors.
After four successful surgeries, Novlene went on to win two more Olympic medals.
She competed in the Jamaican National Championship after having breast reconstructive surgery nine months later. She won the 400-metres race and qualified for the World Championship in Moscow.