Caribbean: “Gold Rush” in Berlin

If there was doubt in anyone's mind that Jamaica can lay claim to having the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt‘s stunning 19:19 win in yesterday's much-anticipated 200m final at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Berlin must have removed any skepticism. Once again, regional bloggers celebrate with their Jamaican counterparts.

Trinidad and Tobago News Blog calls the race a continuation of the sprinter's “extraordinary world championships”, while compatriot Islandista doesn't know where to begin:

Oh, what a day it has been islandistas!

We just bossed up de World Championships in Berlin today, didn’t we?

Where do we start?

With golden girl and defending Olympic islandista Melaine Walker’s sizzling 400m hurdles victory?

Or with Usain Bolt’s jaw-dropping ‘yo, dat yute deh nuh normal’ 19.19 second world record run in the 200m finals?

From St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Abeni “had planned to write about Al Megrahi, the man behind the bombing of Pan Am 103. That was before the phenomenal Usain Bolt stopped the clock at 19.19 in the final of the 200 metres in Berlin.” She continues:

Long before there was Usain Bolt, Berlin had seen the magnificence of Jesse Owens who upset Hitler's race supremacy claims. This time around Bolt left the whole athletics world dazed and totally awestruck by his brilliance.

I am still wrapping my mind around his feats.

Interestingly enough, a link to you YouTube video – part of a meme in which people add subtitles to the same movie clip about all sorts of topics, in this case Hitler's imagined reaction to Usain Bolt smashing the 100m world record – has been circulating around the region, both via email and on social networking sites like Facebook. Most Caribbean Internet users and sports fans find the skit highly amusing, but please note: The video contains graphic language, not suitable for children.

But Bolt isn't the only Caribbean athlete whose outstanding performance would have theoretically upset Hitler. Ryan Brathwaite gave Barbados its first ever gold medal at the World Championships, powering to a 13:14 win in the men's 110 metre hurdles., a blog by a Barbadian living in Bermuda, says he was proud to be a Bajan and sends “congratulations to all the folks back in Bimshire.” Diaspora blogger Jdid adds:

Big up Mr Bolt for his phenomenal 19.19 in the 200m but got to give props to Bajan Ryan Brathwaite for winning the 110m hurdles. Barbados’ first EVER gold medal at the World Games.

Barbados Underground also weighs in:

Not since Obadele Thompson’s bronze medal performance at the Sydney Olympics has Barbados had reason to celebrate the performance of our sportsmen on the world scene. Brathwaite’s performance this evening to win Gold in the 110 metre hurdles given the vacuum created by our non-performing Barbados and West Indies cricket teams has served to feed the hunger of Barbadians for success from our sports people.

Brathwaite’s success will have other benefits to the country given our reliance on tourism and international services. The respected Barbados brand will continue to take root.

Cheese-on-bread! adds her congratulations:

Blue, yellow and black, put it up! Cheese-on-Bread salutes Bajan 110m hurdler Ryan Brathwaite…congrats, Ryan. You worked hard for this, boy. Well done.

And Usain Bolt continued his winning ways as well today, busting his own 200m record down to 19.19. Wuhloss. Go on with your bad self, Bolt.

Tobago, Trinidad‘s sister isle, also performed respectably at the World Championships, with Josanne Lucas copping the bronze medal in the 400m hurdles. explains the significance of her performance:

The Tobago lass is the first female athlete from Trinidad and Tobago to earn a medal at the global track and field meet.

Fellow T&T-based blogger Islandista sums up the euphoria that many regional bloggers are feeling:

Such an abundance of riches. We feel spoiled tonight by the amount of Caribbean medals!

It has been a big, big day for this little region at the World Championships.

For so many years, we have seen those who were born here compete under other flags…we have seen athletes from larger countries set ‘amazing’ times under clouds of suspicion that seemed obvious to us but not to the powerful nations that backed them.

But now…now the playing field has been leveled a bit.

And I know every Caribbean person feels the way we do.


The thumbnail image used in this post, “Pot of Gold”, is by tao_zhyn, used under a Creative Commons license. Visit tao_zhyn's flickr photostream.

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