Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 30th 2015 Contents A50
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt August 30, 2015
Usain Bolt is a real boss! Trinidad and Tobago
celebrates its fifty-third Independence anniversary
tomorrow so we could use that common T&T phrase
to describe the unbelievable efforts and successes
of the big man who has bossed everyone at the World
Championships. In two tremendous races, USA s
Justin Gatlin was absolutely crushed by de boss.
The 1960 s were tumultuous and ambitious times
for Caribbean countries such as Guyana, Barbados,
Jamaica and T&T getting independence from Great
Britain that decade. While personally, August has been
a happy and sad month too. I was married, no. 2 on
August 31. My young queen, Shannon, was born
August 29. Very sadly for us both, her mom, Gail,
died this August 27.
Life goes on, and World Athletics Championships
2015 has provided opportunities to focus on divergent,
alternative situations, none more so than exploits of
Jamaica also celebrat-
ed its 53rd Independ-
ence anniversary on
There will always
be political, religious
or other comparisons
of Bolt, boxer
Muhammad Ali, ath-
lete Jesse Owens,
swimmer Mark Spitz
and footballer Pele, to
name just a few.
James Cleveland "Jesse" Owens had to overcome
racial prejudice for his black skin in native USA long
before taking on deadly and selective politics of Ger-
many s Adolph Hitler, in order to win at Berlin Olympics
1936. Amazingly, Jesse still managed four gold medals
which America and Germany had to accept very
Still the greatest sporting, religious, even political
hero of all time must be Muhammad Ali. Bolt is mag-
nificent but he never had to overcome racial, political
or religious obstacles as did Ali, who overcame those,
and refused induction into USA s army, thus losing
his world title.
Having won gold at Rome Olympics 1960, Ali did
the impossible in boxing, when, still a pup at twen-
ty-two, he twice beat indestructible champion Sonny
Liston in 1964 and 1965.
Still undergoing severe religious persecution for his
conversion to Islam and changing his name from Cas-
sius Clay to Muhammad Ali, he won world s heavy-
weight championships on two come-backs.
Ali shook up the world by beating George Foreman
in The Rumble In The Jungle in Zaire 1974. Still the
biggest boxing upset ever, before beating Leon Spinks
in 1978 to regain his title for the third time, having
lost that very title to a Spinks upset months earlier.
T&T s multi-Olympics medalist Ato Boldon s opinion
on NBC television, that "Bolt has transcended the
sport," was spot on. Bolt may not have only aided in
the revival of athletics, but, after so many drugs
scandals over the last decade, Bolt may have actually
saved the sport overall.
When Bolt won that 100 metres dash last week,
his hardest race ever, USA s Michael Johnson, who
also compares well to Bolt, after Johnson s four
Olympics gold medals at Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996
and Sydney 2000, and eight gold medals at Worlds
from Tokyo 1991 to Seville 1999, made an astonishing
observation on BBC television: "Half of the runners
in that 100 metres final had bans and problems using
performance enhancing drugs. This sport needs help!"
Majestic queens---Jamaica s Shelly-Ann Fraser-
Pryce, England s Jessica Ennis-Hill and Kenya s Vivian
Cheruiyot, with honourable mentions to Jamaica s
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Ethiopia s Genzebe Dibaba,
COLIN EH CROFT
Holland s Dafne Schippers and USA s Allyson
Schippers is a sprinter converted from
heptathlon. Being second to Shelly-Ann Fras-
er-Price in 100 metres, then dominating 200
metres, makes Schippers anticipate the Rio
Olympics 2016. What a conversion! Similarly,
Felix converted from 200 metres. Confident
that she could go 400 metres with the same
results, gold, her stellar win, magnifying the
embarrassing lack of production by USA
VCB has been such a royal presence in
world sprints for so long that we forget that
she is only thirty-three. That she can still
get bronze in that memorable 200 metres
after starting her international career in 1999.
Keep going, girl!
Genzebe Dibaba is trying hard not only to
emulate her older sister, three-time Olympic
champion Tirunesh, but to actually outdo
her. One wonders what Genzebe can achieve,
as she runs so smoothly for a middle-distance
Pocket Rocket Fraser-Pryce, since she is
only five feet tall, was imperious in that 100
metres. If she can exclude injuries in the next
year, she will dominate the 100 metres at
Rio to augment her already bulging golds
cache and crown a great career.
But absolute heroines are heptathlon cham-
pion Innis-Hill and Cheruiyot, 10,000 metres
winner. Both had babies last year, so to com-
pete and win dominantly, especially Ennis-
Hill with seven disciplines at the Worlds,
are truly miraculous.
I lost a beautiful queen last week, but sev-
eral magnificent athletic queens still persevere.
Independence, sporting heroes
and magnificent queens too!
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