Two-time Olympic sprint relay gold medalist Michael Frater said Jamaica’s team will be looking to continue their dominance at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. According to Frater, the veterans on the team will be looking to go out in a blaze of glory.
The 33-year-old Frater was a member of Jamaica’s star-studded teams that won gold medals in Beijing, China in 2008 and in London in 2012, when Jamaica set world records of 37.10s and 36.84s respectively. Rio, he said, presents a final opportunity for the team – beaten once since 2008 – to win another gold medal and possibly set another world record at an Olympic Games.
As is the case with Frater, Rio may very well be the last hurrah for Jamaica’s superstar athletes like 29-year-old world-record holder Usain Bolt and former world-record holder Asafa Powell, who is also 33, and is unlikely to go on much longer after this summer. However, both are still at the peak of their powers and could factor in delivering another jaw-dropping performance like they did four years ago when they became the only team ever to break the 37-second barrier.
“We’re looking to do the same thing we did at the last Olympics and the one before that,” said Frater, who was also a member of Jamaica’s gold-medal winning relay teams at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in 2009 and in Daegu in 2011. “We’ve been very dominant over the past 10 years and I doubt we have lost a relay other than the World Relays last year. It’s the last go-around for most of us and we’re looking to continue our winning trend and end on a high.”
The accomplishment of the team that also has among its ranks, Yohan Blake, the second fastest man of all time over the 100m (9.69) and 200m (19.26); Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade, Rashid Dwyer and Warren Weir, has inspired many of Jamaica’s emerging sprint stars. Frater believes this inspiration could fire Jamaica’s relay prospects in the years to come.
“Before us Jamaica was good, but not that good, other than Herb McKenley and Don Quarrie in the ’70s. There is now a tradition of sprinting and the Boys’ Championships is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Track and field is our major sport, bigger than soccer, and that’s what most of us excel in,” said Frater, the 2005 silver medalist in the 100-metre dash at the IAAF World Championships in Helsinki.