Five medals in Tokyo for Jamaica’s men – TRACK AND FIELD NEWS

April 14, 2021
Tajay Gayle
Tajay Gayle

Jamaica's male athletes could win five medals in athletics at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. That's the early prediction from the respected US journal, TRACK AND FIELD NEWS.

The prediction appeared on the magazine's website yesterday and awards silver medals to long jump World champion Tajay Gayle and discus thrower Federick Dacres, and a bronze to reigning Olympic 110-metre hurdles champion Omar McLeod. In addition, TRACK AND FIELD NEWS predicts runner-up finishes for Jamaica in the men's 4x100- and 4x400-metre relays.

This represents an expected increase over the three medals taken by our men's team at the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Gayle won the long jump there, but Cuban bronze medallist Juan Miguel Echevarria has been picked to win the rematch. Super Swede Daniel Stahl and Dacres are slated to repeat their Doha 1-2, with Austrian Lukas Weishaidinger taking third. McLeod is listed behind in-form World Champion Grant Holloway of the United States and 2016 Olympic second-place finisher Orlando Ortega of Spain in the sprint hurdles.

The Jamaican will be bidding to join Americans Lee Calhoun and Roger Kingdom as a repeat winner in his event.

The magazine's prediction for the men's 4x100 may surprise many as Jamaica didn't reach the final in Doha.

The US publication started with a note of caution. "It's very early in the year to be going out on a limb to attempt to forecast what's going to happen in Tokyo this summer, but here we are with our first men's medal picks of the year", the story began.

US 1-2 finishes are foreseen in the 100, 200 and the triple jump, where perennial silver medallist Will Claye is picked to beat his friendly rival Christian Taylor, the two-time defending champion. The 1-2-3 pick in the 100 is 2015 World bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell over compatriot Ronnie Baker and Commonwealth champion Akani Simbine of South Africa. In the 200, World champion Noah Lyles is in pole position.

Caribbean fans will be happy to see a gold medal prediction for Bahamian World Champion Steven Gardiner in the 400. However, they may not be as cheerful to read that Grenada's surprise 2019 javelin winner Anderson Peters appears only in third place.

For the record, Usain Bolt led a five-medal haul by the men's team at the 2016 Games. He made history by win both the 100 and 200 for the third time in a row, and McLeod became the first Jamaican to win a sprint hurdles gold at the Games. In 2012, with Bolt and Yohan Blake going 1-2 in both sprints and 1-2-3 with Warren Weir in the 200, and with Hansle Parchment third in the 110 hurdles, our men took seven medals.

That team performance ended with a world record of 36.84 seconds by Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Blake and Bolt in the 4x100.

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