ATHLETICS Jamaica skipper: Beware the Bolt
We are at such a high level where everyone wants to take us down, says captain
Birmingham, United Kingdom: Michael Frater, captain of Jamaica’s Olympic team, on Wednesday backed Usain Bolt to retain his Olympic 100m title.
Frater, who was part of Jamaica’s world record-breaking 4x100m teams, both in Beijing and Daegu with times of 37.10 and 37.04 respectively, described Bolt as a special talent.
“I wouldn’t bet against Bolt,” Frater told a press conference at Jamaica’s training base at the University of Birmingham. “He (Bolt) is a special athlete.”
In June, former Olympic 100m champion Justin Gatlin, who won the US trials, said he was ready to beat Bolt and take down the Jamaicans.
“We are not worried about Justin Gatlin or anyone else; we are all just going out there to do our thing,” said Frater.
Jamaica with Bolt, world champion Blake and former world record Asafa Powell in their squad, are highly favoured for medals in London.
Frater said since their exploits at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Jamaicans have become everyone’s target.
“It’s us against the world. We are the target, we are at such a high level where everyone wants to take us down,” he said while adding “they (Jamaica) took down the US in the last few years”.
Meanwhile, hundreds of fans came out, but left disappointed, as they did not get to see Bolt who failed show for the Team Jamaica open day on Tuesday.
The open day, which took place on the team’s training track at the University of Birmingham, was also without Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Blake and Brigitte Foster-Hylton.
Donald Quarrie, the 1976 Olympic 200m champion and technical chief of the Jamaica team, said he could not say why Bolt stayed away.
“I don’t know why he did not come, but what I am happy about was the rest of the athletes were there,” Quarrie said.