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Jamaican Sprinters
The Best Of The Best Since 1960s

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Jamaican Sprinters by Kesha Stewart || July 14 2017

There is a distinctive sound that has been heard from stadia all over the world from Europe to The Americas, Asia and even Down-under.

No its not reggae music, it’s the vibrant strains of the Jamaican National Anthem accompanied by the unmistakable and equally vibrant black, green and gold of the Jamaica national flag.

It the sounds which accompany another gold medal victory. But then again if you have been constantly improving at something for 87 years, the chances are you will earn the respect of your peers. Right? Good.

Then you will appreciate why Jamaica has been recognized the world over for her prowess in the discipline of track and field and more specifically athletics and particularly in the sprints.

Join me as I look at some of famous and best Jamaican sprinters.


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Guess Who Was On The Lips Of Jamaicans Before Independence?

There was Alfred Downer and the famous G.C. Foster and in 1948 at the London Olympics the late Herb McKenley announced Jamaica’s entrance into the realms of sprinting on the international stage.

Lets Go Retro- Back To The 1960’s 

  • Where in 1964, 16 year old Una L. Morris earned  4th place in the 200m final of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, then silver and bronze with Carmen Smith as the  first major female athletics medalists in 1966 and the Jamaican Men’s 4x110 yards team of Lynnsworth Headley, Mike Fray, Pablo McNeill and Wellesley Clayton with silver.
  • The Olympics of 1968 saw the emergence of Lennox Miller Errol Stewart, Mike Fray, and Clifton Forbes.

Were You A Product Of The 70’s? 

By Then Names Such As Donald Quarrie, Bertland Cameron, Erroll Stewart , Clive Barriffe, Colin Bradford and Floyd Brown carried the flag for Jamaica.

What Were You Doing In The 1980’s? Those Who Were Around Remember

  • In Moscow 1980 Olympics Merlene Ottey emerged and won the first medal for an English speaking Caribbean female and everyone got to know about  Cathy Rattray-Williams, Grace Jackson and Leileth Hodges.
  • At the inaugural staging of the World Championships in 1983 Juliet Cuthbert announced her arrival by way of a team medal and we met Leleith Hodges and Jacqueline Pusey.
  • In the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games it was Al Lawrence and Greg Meghoo who were joining forces with Raymond Stewart and Donald Quarrie on the mens side for a silver in the relays. 
  • Stepping the 1987 World Championship, Stewart now well experienced was joined by John Mair, Andrew Smith and Clive Wright. 

True 90’s Style

  • Dahlia Duhaney,  was added to the mix along with Wayne Watson, John Mair and Clive Wright.
  • Michelle Freeman, Juliet Campbell, and Nikole Mitchell emerged in 1993 World Championships and Gillian Russell and Andrea Lloyd in 1993.
  • We mention also Merelene Frazer and Beverly Grant of the 1997 World Champs with Peta-gaye  Dowdie and Aleen Bailey emerging in 1999.

Fasten Your Seatbelts For Now - Its Focus On Y2K And Beyond

  • Veronica Campbell, Tanya Lawrence, kicked us off, followed by Astia Walker and Sherone Simpson, a girl called Shelly – Frazer (now Frazer Pryce) and Kerron Stewart
  • Asafa Powell taught Jamaicans that it is possible to achieve a world record in the sprints, and by 2005 we were talking about Michael Frater, Delorene Ennis-London and Daniele Browning.
  • The Bolt era began in the about 2007 and to join him (Usain Bolt) we had Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter, Simone Facey, Dexter Lee, Schillonie Calvert and Kemar Bailey Cole. 
  • And by 2016 we were introducing Elaine Thompson

    There are several others who deserve to be mentioned here, when you come across them, please don’t hesitate to share. 

So far we have produced 137 male sprinters and 87 females however, if we continue to produce athletes of this caliber at this rate then it is certain that we will be kept busy rewriting history in the sprints.

See also: Jamaican sports

Follow the links here below for more information on Jamaican male sprinters and Jamaican female sprinters.

Pages Related To Jamaican Sprinters

Source: Jamaican Athletics on Wikipedia.com

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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