DREAM TEAM: Blake, Bolt and Weir pose with their medals.
On Thursday the stage was set in London for an unprecedented achievement for Team Jamaica – and we weren’t let down. By the time the riveting Men’s 200M final came to an end, Jamaica had scooped up all three medals, with living legend Usain Gold besting the competition in 19.32 secs and Yohan Great (19.44) producing another sizzling silver-medal run.
But for a while the most talked-about man of the moment was Warren 'Rookie' Weir, who in his first Olympic appearance (and first major outing as a national sprinter), took the bronze (19.84) ahead of seasoned competitors like the USA’s Wallace Spearmon. Bolt and Blake and Weir all belong to the same club, Racers United, and perhaps equally fascinating, they are coached and conditioned by the same man, Glen Mills.
All in all, Thursday was nothing short of a sensational occasion that served to ratchet up our medal count from six to nine, while showing yet again that Jamaica is a bonafide powerhouse in athletics.
As one can imagine, the super trio was in high spirits and full of gratitude after their historic race. “It’s an excellent feeling. Jamaica, this is a wonderful gift for you all,” said Weir, a Calabar past student. He dedicated his medal to the late Herb McKenley. Blake, who is ending the Olympics with a pair of individual silver medals (100M and 200M), had a word of encouragement for the young aspirants at home watching. “Always work hard, believe in your dreams, and never forget God,” he advised.
Meanwhile Bolt, the first man ever to win back-to-back Olympic 200M gold medals, sang the praises of his teammates and coach. “It’s awesome. [Blake and Weir] have worked hard,” said the superstar sprinter. “They pushed themselves, they pushed me; we’ve worked hard together over the period of time. And thanks to Glen Mills, who really pushed us to be champions.”
For Bolt, who turns 26 later this month, it’s mission accomplished. “My aim when I came out here was to become a legend, and I am a living legend now without a doubt. I’ve shown the world that I am the best no matter what. So I’m happy with myself.”