Saturday, 17 August 2013


Beres Hammond wrote about ‘what one dance can do’ but for this purpose, I would write ‘what one 4x400 metre anchor leg can do for a country’s psyche’.

Jevon ‘Donkeyman’ Francis (second right)-if not anything else-proved to me what sheer determination, will power, and critical thinking can achieve. Here is a high school athlete who ignored the obvious (him running against some of the best athletes in the world) and moved the country from 5th place to a silver medal on the final leg of the 4x400 relay at a World Championship.

I believe in empirical evidence and I reviewed the personal best times (PB’s) of all the athletes on the final leg of the race and they were:

Leshawn Merritt 43.74 (USA)
Jevon Francis      45.24 (JAMAICA)
V Krasnov          45.12 (RUSSIA)
N Levine            45.11 (BRITAIN)
W Oyowe           45.88 (BELGIUM)
J Solomon           45.19 (TRINIDAD)
H De Sousa        45.31 (BRAZIL)
Tristan Thomas   45.86 (AUSTRALIA)

Do you see what I see?

At the final changeover, the positions were USA, RUSSIA, BELGIUM, BRITAIN, and then JAMAICA. All the runners with the exception of Oyowe of Belgium have PB’s that are better than that of Jevon Francis; and he got the baton a clear 2-3 metres behind these runners; this is clearly reminiscent of the great DAVIAN CLARKE.

Based on the results, the first three places seemed hungrier for medals than everyone else. USA did a World Leading time, JAMAICA did a Season’s Best, and RUSSIA also did a Season’s Best. Australia also did a Season’s Best, however, they placed 8th.

The only word I can use to describe what Jevon did was INCREDIBLE. He was able to overhaul athletes with better PB’s than he, and convincingly as well. I love empirical evidence, but there are times when BELIEF weighs more than anything else. Many variables were at play for Jevon, and he was able to make them all work in his favour and for the country.

What I take this to mean for JAMAICA is that no matter the deficit, no matter the obstacle, no matter the history, no matter what others may think……if we truly believe we can move this country forward, it can be done.

Thanks Rusheen McDonald, Edino Steele, Omar Johnson and Jevon Francis for allowing me to continue believing; and strengthening my resolve.

© 2013 Antonio Bell. All rights reserved

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All the commentary posted in this publication are my personal view(s) and do not reflect the view(s) of any Association, Federation or Governing Body.