=Jamaican Sprinters ----



Jamaica has more Olympic medals than Portugal, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Singapore and Kuwait combined. they have also competed in the Summer Olympic Games 16 times. In addition Jamaica has produced some of the finest Olympic athletes in the past decade in both male and female track and field.

Sprinting, in short, is a dominated by Jamaica and their world class athletes. Gold medalists and world record holders like: Usain Bolt in both the 100 and 200 meters, Jamaica’s mens 4X100 team that consists of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Usain Bolt, and Asafa Powell, Shelly-Ann Fraser in the women's 100 meter are few examples of their dominance. Their supremacy in sprinting has had many people thinking about how they are doing this. Training , diet, genes, drugs and culture all contribute greatly to the record breaking performances in sprinting events by Jamaica in the Olympics.


Top 5 Jamaican 100m Athletes - Women
Shelly-Ann Fraser
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
17 August 2009
Merlene Ottey
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
7 September 1996
Kerron Stewart
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
10 July 2009
Sherone Simpson
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
24 May 2006
Juliet Cuthbert
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
1 August 1992

Top 5 Jamaican 100m Athletes — men

Usain Bolt
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.pngJamaica
16 August 2009
Asafa Powell
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
2 September 2008
Nesta Carter
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.pngJamaica
20 September 2009
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
17 July 2009
Raymond Stewart
external image 22px-Flag_of_Jamaica.svg.png Jamaica
25 August 1991

Jamaica entered its first-ever athletics team into an international competition.

In 1948, Jamaica made their first ever Olympic appearance at the 1948 Summer Olympics and surprised the world by winning 1 gold and two silvers.

In the 1952 Summer Olympics, Jamaican heroes Arthur Wint and Herb Mckenley were back along with George Rhoden and Leslie Laing. Together these four made up the gold medal winning 4x400 meter relay team team becoming the only team other than the Americans to hold a 4x400m world record by running 3:03.9 in the final.

For the 1960 Summer Olympics, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobagoand Barbados entered a joint team known as the British West Indies Federation (BWI).The 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were the first to be held in Jamaica and the first outside the "White Commonwealth". Much to the disappointment of the Kingston,Jamaica crowd, Jamaica didn’t win any gold medals

In 1970, Jamaica equalled its 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games record haul in the 1970 British Commonwealth Games of 4 golds 2 silvers and a bronze.

At the 1980 Summer Olympics, Jamaica won a bronze medal in cycling and won two more bronze medals in athletics. Those medals came thanks to Donald Quarrie in the 200m and 20 year old Merlene Ottey who became the first female athlete from an English speaking Caribbean island to win an Olympic medal after winning bronze in the 200m.In 1983, the first ever 1983 World Championships in Athletics were held. This gave Jamaican athletes more opportunities to win major medals.

1990s-The next 1992 Summer Olympics were in 1992 in Barcelona and Jamaica had many athletes capable of winning the Olympic Gold medal but none rose to the occasion.
A year later at the 1993 World Championships in Athletics, Ottey proved the critics wrong by becoming World 200m Champion at the age of 33. She then won silver in the 100m.

The next year at the 1997 World Championships in Athletics, Jamaica won no golds but managed 3 silvers and 4 bronzes.

There was a lot of controversy before the 2000 Olympics Olympics in Sydney which almost resulted in Jamaica being thrown out of the competition.Jamaica won no gold medals at the 2000 Olympics.The 2004 Summer Olympics|2004 Olympics in Athens Jamaica a total of 5 medals - 2 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze.
2008, 21-year old Usain Bolt proved Jamaica's dominance in the 100m which isn't his favoured event, first running 9.76, becoming second on the all-time list and then on 1 June 2008 he ran 9.72 breaking the 100m world record held by fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell (9.74 secs) by two hundredths of a second. This meant that the two fastest men in the world were Jamaicans.

Legislation, Facts and/or Data-

Every sprinter usually has a single or double copy of the ACTN3 gene. This gene has been linked with protein synthesis and the high-speed muscular contractions crucial for sprinting. The ACTN3 gene encodes a protein called α-actinin-3, which is found within the fast fibres of muscle - the cells that are required for generating rapid, forceful contraction in activities such as sprinting and weightlifting.The double copy of the ACTN3 gene is found in 72% of Jamaican citizens- which produces a protein in there fast-twitch muscle fibers that has been linked to increased sprinting performances- the gene is found in 76% of Olympic athletes. The single copy of the ACTN3 gene is found in 26% of ordinary Jamaicans and 23% of Olympians.

Protein ACTN3 (from Google Images)

Scientists have known for years yams contain high amounts of steroidal glycosides, which are naturally occurring steroid alkaloids,Scientists such as Russell Marker actually used the yam to first synthesize testosterone back in the early 1930's. They were able to do so because the chemical structure of the yam is identical to human testosterone. And, of course, all anabolic steroids are then developed from testosterone.

Jamaican Yams (from Google Images)

Testosterone (from Google Images)

The warm weather of the island makes for a near perfect training climate for speed-power athletes. Therefore they are able to train year round since the temperature rarely dips below 80 degrees in the day and there’s only a 10-degree difference between the summer and winter temperatures.


Case Study-

August 16th 2009 - Berlin, Germany – With a performance that defies the imagination, Usain Bolt set a new 100m World record of 9.58 on the second evening of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The 22-year-old Jamaican knocked a mind-blowing 0.11 second from the 9.69 record he set at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Biographical Sketches of Key Individuals-

Glen Mills
Jamaicas coach of triple Olympic and World Championship gold medallist Usain Bolt and president of the Racers Track Club, is Glen Mills. Under Mills' guidence, between 1987 and 2009, Jamaica obtained 71 medals at the World Championships -13 gold, 31 silver and 27 bronze. In that same time period, the country collected 33 medals at the Olympics -9 gold, 16 silver and 8 bronze.

Usain Bolt
Bolt announced that he would double-up with the Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics-Men's 100 metres and Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics-Men's 200 metres events at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and the new 100 m world-record holder was the favorite to win both. He was selected as the IAAF Male Athlete of the year and won a Special Olympic Award for his performances. However, Bolt turned his attention to future events, suggesting that he could aim to break the 400 metres world record in 2010 as no major championships were scheduled that year.
Usain Bolt

Personal bests

Time (seconds)
Berlin, Germany
16 August 2009
World record
World record

Men's 100 metres world record progression Electronic timing .28 post-1976.29, Also holds the second fastest time with 9.69, which is the Olympic record.
Manchester, United Kingdom
17 May 2009
World best
He ran the last 100 m in 8.70, the fastest ever recorded time over a 100 m distance.
Berlin, Germany
20 August 2009
World record
World record

Also holds the second fastest time with 19.30, which is the Olympic Record.

400 meters
Kingston, Jamaica
5 May 2007

4x100 meter relay
Beijing, China
22 August 2008
World record
World record
Olympic record
Olympic record

Shared with Asafa Powell, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter. Also holds the second fastest time with 37.31.

Glossary Of Terms-

BWI- British West Indies Federation
Sprinting- The act or an instance of sprinting, especially a short race at top speed. A burst of speed or activity
100 m- The 100 meter sprint takes place on one length of the home straight of a standard outdoor 400 m track.
200 m- The 200 meters begins on the curve of a standard track (where the runners are staggered in their starting position, to ensure that they all run the same distance)
400 m- The 400 meters is one lap around the track on the inside lane. Runners are staggered in their starting positions to ensure that everyone runs the same distance.

Guide to Futher Research-

Recomended Research Databases-
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Expanded Academic ASAP
  • Opposing Viewpoints

Print Sources-
Wokovits, John. The Encyclopedia of Wolrd Sports. New York: Franklin Watts, 1944. Print.
Canham, Don. Major Sports Techniques Illustrated. New York: The Ronald Press
Company, 1954. Print.

Recommended Websites-

Welcome to **Jamaica** Amateur **Athletic** Association Ltd.
Jamaica athletics. ... Day 8 Report - Jamaican relay teams strike gold · Day 7 Report - VC takes the Silver; Jamaica now second on medal table ...

**Athletics** in **Jamaica** - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia These two men are regarded as the pioneers of Jamaican athletics. In the 400m final McKenley ran out of steam in the last 100m and Wint passed him to become ...

JamaicaAthletics.Org JAAA - Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association. MVP Track Club · Talawah - Statistics. Usain Bolt - WR holder & Olympic Champion. WADA - World Anti-Drug Agency ...