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  • Reason for Jamaican sprint success?

    Jamaica has a population of just under 3 million - a little more than the population of Chicago.
    The USA has a population of 328 million.
    So Jamaica has less than 1% of the US population, but somehow Jamaica has been as good or better than the USA in sprinting over the past 20 years.
    Additionally the USA is a much richer and more developed country, which means more and better facilities, opportunities, nutrition, sports medicine, etc.

    I've heard some say that the reason Jamaica is so strong in track is because track is the most popular sport in Jamaica, whereas it is not popular at all in the States.
    Still, with more 100 times their population, the US would still have more participants in the sport than Jamaica.
    And if there are some cultural differences that are factors, why don't other Caribbean nations do better in the sprints?!
    Cuba and Haiti and the Dominican Republic have populations of about 11 million each. Porto Rico has a population of 3.5 million people.
    Yet all these countries combined haven't had any (maybe 1 or 2) world class sprinters during the past 2 decades during which Jamaica has dominated.

    So why is the tiny nation of Jamaica consistently such a force in the short sprints?
    Last edited by Jacksf; 09-21-2021, 08:51 PM.

  • #2
    While one could it to attribute it to the demographics, body-types or ethnic heritage of the population (West Central African), there certainly is a strong cultural 'appreciation' of T&F in Jamaica. Popular renown and financial incentives are strong there.

    Whatever it is, I like and appreciate it. It was hard for even the most jingoistic American fan NOT to root for their greatest national athletics heroes,

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    • #3
      Wait, so it's not all about the yams?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Jacksf View Post
        Jamaica has a population of just under 3 million - a little more than the population of Chicago.
        The USA has a population of 328 million.
        So Jamaica has less than 1% of the US population, but somehow Jamaica has been as good or better than the USA in sprinting over the past 20 years.
        Additionally the USA is a much richer and more developed country, which means more and better facilities, opportunities, nutrition, sports medicine, etc.

        I've heard some say that the reason Jamaica is so strong in track is because track is the most popular sport in Jamaica, whereas it is not popular at all in the States.
        Still, with more 100 times their population, the US would still have more participants in the sport than Jamaica.
        And if there are some cultural differences that are factors, why don't other Caribbean nations do better in the sprints?!
        Cuba and Haiti and the Dominican Republic have populations of about 11 million each. Porto Rico has a population of 3.5 million people.
        Yet all these countries combined haven't had any (maybe 1 or 2) world class sprinters during the past 2 decades during which Jamaica has dominated.

        So why is the tiny nation of Jamaica consistently such a force in the short sprints?
        All you need to do is to take a look at their Boys and Girls champs and see how competitive and how serious they take that competition and it has been that case for years. Many of their superstars came from that same platform. Bolt, Blake, VCB,Sherone, Kerron, SAFP, Shericka,Melanie Walker and the list goes on.
        Apparently Ignorance is bliss

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jacksf View Post
          And if there are some cultural differences that are factors, why don't other Caribbean nations do better in the sprints?!
          There are cultural differences between Caribbean nations. Cricket and soccer have relatively higher importance in the rest of the Caribbean than in Jamaica.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 18.99s View Post

            There are cultural differences between Caribbean nations. Cricket and soccer have relatively higher importance in the rest of the Caribbean than in Jamaica.
            I think you're right there. Smaller countries like Antigua and Barbados may have produced more top cricket players than Jamaica while their soccer team tends to always have some British-born players who qualify through their ancestry.

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            • #7
              there certainly is a strong cultural 'appreciation' of T&F in Jamaica. Popular renown and financial incentives are strong there.

              Right...

              Why compare with the puny US....China, India... billions! And no sprinters!

              How many great sprinters has Sweden had!

              I'll let you figure it out...
              Last edited by Conor Dary; 09-21-2021, 11:43 PM.

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              • #8
                I grew up in central Cali, the sprint power around here was Edison HS in Fresno, down in LA it was Muir and Hawthorne, why.....over abundance of African American athletes. Here in the valley we had Olympic sprinters Leamon King Delano, Tommie Smith Lemoore, Lee Evans Madera, Maxie Parks Washington Union Fresno, all gold medalists, all African Americans.

                My JC COS once had a great sprinter named Bill Cowings he was a Cali state HS 100/200 champ and the JC champ, yep, African American.

                So anyone into track around here has been watching why things are like they are for a long time. Hell, Hanford had Ken Thomas, 400m stud Larance Jones out of Lemoore, fastest 400m kid in the nation Jerry White out of Corcoran. Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson and his Hall of Fame NFL bro Jim out of Kingsburg.

                Crossrown rival Redwood had Milton Edwards, Augusta Brown and Greg Flenory, yep...you guessed it.

                NFL cornerbacks are 100% African Americans, yep, all about speed.

                John Teeters and Devin Quinn hold the American 100m record at 10.00 for non Afro Americans. TCU alone can fill 8 lanes with sub 10,00 sprinters.

                Who in Jamaica didn;t grow up around some sprinter? Hell, it's a family thing....Mel & Mal Spence, Lennox & Inger Miller, Asafa & Donovan Powell, Michael & Lindel Frater, Don & Ray Quarrie, who isn;t related to a sprinter?

                Where do all those speedy footballers come from, yep, Cali, Texas and Florida. the reason is obvious.

                Tiny Trinidad has had more quality sprinters than the Middle East, USSR, Poland, Germany, Japan, China, Sweden, Greece, combined.
                Last edited by Alcyallen; 09-22-2021, 12:39 AM.

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                • #9
                  No mystery, Jamacia's sprint dominance is due to genetics and culture.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
                    No mystery, Jamacia's sprint dominance is due to genetics and culture.
                    Yes. Similar to Kenya and distance running. And I would reckon the culture part is more important. Genetics itself is only a foundation, one that can be stewarded or ignored when it comes to athletics.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Conor Dary View Post
                      there certainly is a strong cultural 'appreciation' of T&F in Jamaica. Popular renown and financial incentives are strong there.
                      Right...
                      Why compare with the puny US....China, India... billions! And no sprinters!
                      How many great sprinters has Sweden had!
                      I'll let you figure it out...
                      But you keep telling us T&F is dead in America.
                      Sprints are MUCH more appreciated, per capita, in Jamaica than the US, or China, or India, or Sweden!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Alcyallen View Post
                        I grew up in central Cali, the sprint power around here was Edison HS in Fresno, down in LA it was Muir and Hawthorne, why.....over abundance of African American athletes. Here in the valley we had Olympic sprinters Leamon King Delano, Tommie Smith Lemoore, Lee Evans Madera, Maxie Parks Washington Union Fresno, all gold medalists, all African Americans.

                        My JC COS once had a great sprinter named Bill Cowings he was a Cali state HS 100/200 champ and the JC champ, yep, African American.

                        So anyone into track around here has been watching why things are like they are for a long time. Hell, Hanford had Ken Thomas, 400m stud Larance Jones out of Lemoore, fastest 400m kid in the nation Jerry White out of Corcoran. Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson and his Hall of Fame NFL bro Jim out of Kingsburg.

                        Crossrown rival Redwood had Milton Edwards, Augusta Brown and Greg Flenory, yep...you guessed it.

                        NFL cornerbacks are 100% African Americans, yep, all about speed.

                        John Teeters and Devin Quinn hold the American 100m record at 10.00 for non Afro Americans. TCU alone can fill 8 lanes with sub 10,00 sprinters.

                        Who in Jamaica didn;t grow up around some sprinter? Hell, it's a family thing....Mel & Mal Spence, Lennox & Inger Miller, Asafa & Donovan Powell, Michael & Lindel Frater, Don & Ray Quarrie, who isn;t related to a sprinter?

                        Where do all those speedy footballers come from, yep, Cali, Texas and Florida. the reason is obvious.

                        Tiny Trinidad has had more quality sprinters than the Middle East, USSR, Poland, Germany, Japan, China, Sweden, Greece, combined.
                        Wait, I thought the Frater brothers were the My Pillow Guys! ("Withdrawn, Your Honor!")

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                          But you keep telling us T&F is dead in America.
                          Sprints are MUCH more appreciated, per capita, in Jamaica than the US, or China, or India, or Sweden!
                          Right....if only the Swedes appreciated sprinters more they would have a boatload of 9.8 guys.

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                          • #14
                            Read The Sports Gene by David Epstein. It is an interesting read overall and one chapter deals with the specific area within Jamaica where many of the great sprinters trace their family history.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Conor Dary View Post
                              Right....if only the Swedes appreciated sprinters more they would have a boatload of 9.8 guys.
                              ??!!
                              My first statement was about Jamaica's "demographics, body-types or ethnic heritage of the population (West Central African)".

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