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July 2, 2008

Olympics: Track and Field – Jamaica vs. America

Jamaica is the 138th most populous nation in the world. At 2.65 million people, the Caribbean island nestles between Kuwait and Mongolia in the population ladder.

It is in similar territory when it comes to national wealth.

The United States, on the other hand, is the world’s richest and third most populous country.

As neighbors go, these two live at very different ends of a very long street.

But there is one place where these two meet as equals – the running track.

Last weekend witnessed the most recent chapter in their rivalry as both countries staged Olympic trials for the 100m in Beijing this summer. The results, as they have been all season, were remarkable.

First, Tyson Gay, the latest sprint star off the US assembly line, almost made the most embarrassing mistake of his hitherto impeccable career by misjudging the finish of his opening heat. (Go to 2.29 for the race).

Thousands of miles to the south, world record-holder Usain “Lightening” Bolt and Asafa “King” Powell, the man Bolt ‘unseated’, were advancing smoothly to their much-anticipated clash in the Jamaican capital, Kingston.


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