Robert EVANS Tuesday, August 18, 2015
ALTHOUGH Chris Gayle's Jamaica Tallawahs are aptly named, Jamaica's historical performance in the IAAF World Championships demonstrates the essence of the word tallawah. This uniquely Jamaican word depicts an individual of small stature exhibiting prowess way beyond his/her size, and one who must never be underestimated.
|(L-R) Merlene Ottey Usain Bolt Elaine Thompson|
With the 15th World Championships only days away, we can reflect on the rich past of little Jamaica in this world event and recognise that our track stars -- and, of course, cricketers -- have given Jamaica and Jamaicans a stellar reputation. Look at Jamaica's performance compared to the approximately 200 countries and 2,000 athletes that attend this biennial event which started in 1983.
When one studies the statistics of the event, the USA's dominance is evident. They head the medal table with 300 to date. A tally of the 14 games so far, Jamaica ranks fifth overall with 98 medals. Russia is second with 168, Kenya third with 112, and Germany fourth with 101 -- all nations with populations ranging from 120 (US) to 17 (Kenya) times Jamaica's inhabitants.
Usain Bolt's nine (eight gold, two silver) is tied with USA's Carl Lewis (8 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze) for the most medals won by a male to date. The medal-rich female side is led by Merlene Ottey in first place of all time with 14 (3-4-7), who is three medals ahead of second place USA's Allyson Felix with 11 (8-1-1). Jamaica's Veronica Campbell Brown has nine medals, while three other Jamaicans, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Beverly McDonald, and Lorraine Graham, have seven each.
The athletes in the record book who have attended 10 and 11 meets did so in walking and discus throwing events. In running, the male athlete with the most appearances (nine) is Jamaica's Danny McFarlane (400m/400m hurdles/4x400m). He is tied with Maria Mutola of Mozambique (800m) who has the most running appearances for a female. Merlene Ottey is tied with a number of walkers and throwers, and one 1500m runner for eight appearances from 1983 to 2007. more