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Friday, August 28, 2015

Jamaica 3rd in World Championships Medal Table

Great photo by Ricardo Makyn!!
 See full report at
http://www.jamaicagleaner.com/article/sports/20150828/full-list-jamaicas-medallists-so-far-2015-world-champs

 Check the populations of the top three countries as I found in Wikipedia and tell me if Jamaica is not the land of awesomeness!!! - Jean Anita

Medal table (Top five)
Kenya - 6 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze. Total: 11 (pop 45,010,056)
United States - 4 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze. Total:14 (pop 321,605,012)
Jamaica - 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze. Total: 9 (pop 2,889,187)
Great Britain and Northern & Ireland - 3 gold and 1 silver. Total: 4
Poland - 2 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze. Total: 6

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crash with UWI Students brings road fatalities to 241!

Message from Dr Lucien Jones, Convenor and Vice-Chairman, National Road
Safety Council:

Shanice Simmonds
All lives lost on our roads matter to us in the NRSC. And that's why we work
so hard and try and galvanize the entire nation to take this matter of road
safety seriously. However, when two young people - Shanice Simmonds and O'Shane Reid who were University
students with so much potential to make an impact on our society, if not the
world, perish along with the other 239 who have died on our roads so far
this year, it's time, in fact past time as we are ' two late', for us really
begin to use our roads much more carefully.

O'Shane Reid
In that respect then, top of the list of things to do is to reduce ' loss of
control' due to excessive speeding and careless or distracted driving as
noted in data coming from the Mona Geoinformatic Centre at the UWI. And
which data on road fatalities and crashes is updated daily and available
on its website. The main problems responsible for distracted driving in
other jurisdictions include, the use of cell phones while driving in
general, and texting and driving in particular, and driving under the
influence of alcohol.

Whilst there is some insight into the reasons for distracted driving in
Jamaica, further research is needed to identify the specific causes. The
problem of road safety in Jamaica is further compounded by the high levels
of motor bike riders and pedestrians who are dying on our roads. The NRSC is
therefore actively developing partnerships in Jamaica which will, in the
near future, facilitate the kind of research needed to help to combat the
spiralling number of road traffic fatalities.

In the interim we look forward to the introduction of some kind of
Electronic Surveillance System about which we have been lobbying for some
time now, the passage of the new Road Traffic Act which thank God is
imminent, the fine tuning of the Ticketing System, the provision of
additional bikes and cars for the police, and other measures which will
assist the traffic police in enforcing the road traffic act, while
continuing to engage in Public Education.

To all the loved ones of the 241 victims who have died on our roads for this year, we offer
our sincere condolences, and pray for comfort in particular at this time for
the Students of the UWI who are mourning the tragic loss of two of their
colleagues.

Finally it worthy of note, that we are not alone in this struggle to reduce
fatalities. As a 2nd Global High-Level Road Safety conference, organized by
the UN in partnership with other agencies, will be held in Brazil on
November 18-19. And the goal of this ongoing worldwide collaborative effort
is to reduce the predicted significant increase in roads deaths by one
half. It is expected that Jamaica will be representated by a high level
delegation. Hopefully additional resources to fight this modern day scourge
will attend our participation and efforts in this major International
Forum.

Dr. Lucien W. Jones

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Dubai Miracle Garden

Beautiful mail from Turo Ziadie ...
The Dubai Miracle Garden features over 45 flower species imported from all over the world
Dubai Miracle Garden is world's biggest                          flower garden. It is situated in the North                          West Quadrant of Arabian Ranches interchange
Dubai
Miracle Garden is world's biggest flower garden.  It is situated in the Northwest Quadrant of Arabian Ranches Interchange.


This amazing tourist                          attraction is a Guinness Record Holder for the                          Largest Vertical Garden. Also popular is the                          heart shaped flower beds at the Alley of                          Hearts
This amazing
tourist attraction is a Guinness record holder for the largest vertical garden.


Dubai Miracle Garden                          has more than 45 million blooming flowers with                          stunning colour combinations achieved through                          45 different flower varieties and colour
Dubai Miracle Garden has more than 45 million blooming flowers with stunning
color combinations.


Bordered by                          windmills, this area provides parking, sitting                          areas, a prayer room and shops for visitors to                          Dubai Miracle Garden
Bordered by windmills, this area provides parking, sitting areas, a prayer room and shops for visitors to Dubai Miracle Garden.


The Dubai Miracle                          Garden features a sensational 45 million                          flowers over a 18-acre site, from breathtaking                          flowerbeds to heart-shaped archways and                          adorned castles
The Dubai Miracle Garden features 45 million flowers over an 18-acre site.


The spectacular                          bonanza provides a colourful oasis for the                          eyes of city workers, who can escape to the                          natural splendour
The spectacular bonanza provides a colorful oasis.



In order to create a                          fresh experience for guests visiting the                          rainbow gardens, the displays are changed                          seasonally
In order to create a fresh experience for guests visiting the Rainbow Gardens, the
displays are changed seasonally.


These have included                          millions of flowers in the shape of the UAE's                          flag, floral clock, a Ferrari car with driver                          decorated by flowers, a vertical buried car                          zone, flower apple structures, artificial                          animals, flower boats and an Islamic Arch                          Design
These have included millions of flowers in the shape of the UAE's flag, floral clock and a Ferrari car with driver decorated by flowers.


At the moment, there                          are 45 species of flowers in the garden, which                          are imported in from all around the world
Right now there are 45 varieties of flowers in the garden, which are imported in from all around the world.


If the natural                          landscape was not incredible enough, what                          makes this attraction particularly impressive                          is the unique sub-surface irrigation system                          that recycles waste water via drip irrigation                          while avoiding evaporation and saving up to 75                          per cent of water and energy
What makes this attraction particularly impressive is the unique sub-surface
irrigation system that recycles waste water via drip irrigation
while
avoiding evaporation and saving up to 75 per cent of water and
energy.


A fantasy flower                          house at the Miracle Garden, which has plants                          growing over its turrets, doors, walls and                          towers
A fantasy flower house at the Miracle Garden, which has plants growing over its
turrets, doors, walls and towers.


A pathway shaded by                          umbrellas at the Miracle Garden, provides a                          colourful walkway for visiting guests
A pathway shaded by umbrellas at the Miracle Garden provides a colorful walkway for visiting guests.


Peacock topiary                          covered in an array of colourful flowers at                          the largest natural flower garden in the                          world
Peacock topiary covered in an array of colorful flowers at the largest natural flower garden in the world.


There is no limit to                          the imagination gone into the design of the                          gardens, which include flowers streaming like                          hair from a giant human
There is no limit to the imagination that has gone into the design of the gardens, which include flowers streaming like hair.


Barrels tipping                          streams of flowers, and peacocks with                          colourful plumages are featured in the                          creative attraction
Barrels tipping streams of flowers, and peacocks with colorful plumages are
featured in this creative attraction above.


Even Disney                          characters such as Mater from Cars can be seen                          at the Dubai oasis, of course decorated with                          flowerbeds
Even Disney characters such as Mater from Cars can be seen at the Dubai
oasis, of course, all decorated with flowerbeds.


Giant structures can                          be viewed in the park, covered from top to                          bottom in an array of flowers
Giant structures can be viewed in the park, covered from top to bottom in an array of flowers.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce: "the empress of sprinting"

IAAF Report: women's 100m final – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015
 http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships/15th-iaaf-world-championships-4875/news/report/women/100-metres/final
Montage from www.jamaicaobserver.com
Twenty four hours ago, it was Usain Bolt who maintained his considerable reputation and on Monday it was the turn of his compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, as she added to her growing legacy as the possibly the greatest female sprinter in history.
Despite facing the fiercest of competition, the diminutive Fraser-Pryce continues to defy her lack of inches to deliver time and time again.
No matter how hard her rivals try, nobody can knock the outgoing Jamaican from her perch as the empress of sprinting.
Just like Bolt, Fraser-Pryce first revealed herself to the world at the Bird’s Nest Stadium seven years ago, striking 100m gold at the 2008 Olympic Games, and she has since largely dominated her event since then.
Tonight was her record-breaking third consecutive world women’s 100m title to add to her successive Olympic 100m titles.
No woman in history can boast of as many global 100m titles.
It was also her sixth World Championship gold medal and she now sits on her own as the woman with the second highest total of golds in the 32-year history of the event, one clear of five-time world champions Gail Devers, Sanya Richards-Ross and Tirunesh Dibaba. US sprinter Allyson Felix is top of the pile on eight gold medals.
Tonight was another supreme example that we are witnessing a very special talent.
The 28-year-old Jamaican, sporting an unusual look of green hair with five yellow sunflowers on the fringe, has an uncanny ability to reach top speed quicker than her rivals out of the blocks, although it has be noted that tonight her reaction time was only the sixth best of the eight finalists.
By 30 metres, the Jamaican ‘Pocket Rocket’ had already established a gap on her rivals with her countrywoman Veronica Campbell-Brown – one of a trio of Jamaicans in the final – prominent with US champion Tori Bowie also in the mix.

Schippers shifts gear in the second 50m

As Fraser-Pryce continued to maintain her advantage, it was actually the long-striding European champion Dafne Schippers who presented the Jamaican’s most demanding challenge over the second half of the race.
Competing in the familiar Dutch orange, Schippers started to make significant inroads on Fraser-Pryce in the final 20 metres and was closing with every stride. However, Fraser-Pryce had too much of an advantage and crossed the line raising one arm skyward in celebration and ecstasy.
The clock stopped at 10.76, 0.06 shy of the championship record, the second fastest time in the world this year and a mark only she has beaten in 2015.
Schippers herself had an outstanding race clocking 10.81 to trim 0.02 off the Dutch record she had set just two hours earlier in the semi-finals.
In the space of one night, Schippers took a huge 0.11 from her Dutch record and must now go into the women’s 200m, an event Fraser-Pryce has decided not to run, with huge confidence.
Another additional statistic is that Schippers became the first athlete from the Netherlands to win a women’s 100m medal at a global championship since the great Fanny Blankers-Koen, the IAAF female athlete of the 20th century, struck gold at the 1948 London Olympic Games.  
Behind the leading two, Bowie backed up the prevailing mood that she was a smart medal chance following her outings through the rounds and took the bronze in 10.86.
Campbell-Brown, the world champion in this event eight years ago and competing in her fifth IAAF World Championships, rolled back the years to run an impressive 10.91 while Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye took fifth in 10.98.
The big disappointment was Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare who, after running 10.89 in her semi-final earlier, clocked 11.02 for eighth, although it should be noted that nobody has run so fast and brought up the rear a women’s world championships 100m and it will be little compensation that she would have got on the podium at six previous editions.
Steve Landells for the IAAF  

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bolt's "Extraordinary record of dominance" - IAAF

Photo from www.jamaicaobserver.com

REPORT: MEN'S 100M FINAL – IAAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, BEIJING 2015
     
The sound you did not hear was the sound of Usain Bolt's empire come crashing down.

On Sunday night Bolt won his third World Championships 100m title in the stadium where it all began at the 2008 Olympic Games.

No world record this time – it was a moderate 9.79, his fastest of the year but slowest of all his championship victories. No show-boating at the finish. No time to make even the slightest mistake as he had with a stumble in the first few strides of his semi-final.

He faced the toughest race of his career. Justin Gatlin was on top of the world list, undefeated and seemingly invincible. In contrast to Bolt's semi-final, Gatlin had won his with consummate ease in 9.77. No fewer than five times this year has he run faster than Sunday night's winning time.

It loomed as Bolt's 'Rumble in the Jungle' moment, the people's champion – he got a greater reception even than China's Su Bingtian – against a mean opponent many of us thought he could not beat.

But in an eerily uncanny mirror image of the semi-finals, Gatlin stumbled and lost form as he strove to hold Bolt off to the line. Bolt has often said over the years that if he was within reach of anyone at 50 metres, he could beat them home.

This night that belief was put to the test. Bolt was behind Gatlin at half-way, but close enough. You could almost see his self-belief kick in. Bolt puffed out his chest and charged from there; Gatlin ran like a man trying desperately to hold on to what he had.

It all started for Bolt at the Bird's Nest. He won the 100m in a world record, repeated the trick at 200m and then repeated the same feat – dual wins, dual world records – at the World Championships in Berlin a year later.

Daegu in 2011 brought the only blip on Bolt's CV, a false start knocking him out of contention in the 100m final. But he won the 200m and London 2012 and Moscow 2013 brought two more individual doubles.

It is an extraordinary record of dominance that few expected to be maintained here.

The semi-final round had thrown up any number of statistical 'firsts', including the first nine-man 100m final at the World Championships as Su and Jimmy Vicaut could not be separated to thousandths of a second for the eighth spot.

The final was just as prolific by the numbers. Trayvon Bromell and Andre De Grasse, the next generation of world sprinters, tied for the bronze medal, each of them running 9.92 after long collegiate seasons. Mike Rodgers was an isolated fourth in 9.94 before Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Vicaut were all given 10.00 in finishing sixth, seventh and eighth.

Su, cheered to the echo, was ninth and last in 10.06, but it has been a year of constant advance for the Chinese sprinter. The first Chinese man to run under 10 seconds with his 9.99 in Eugene earlier in the year, he repeated that time in the semi-finals in becoming the first Chinese athlete to reach an outdoor World Championships sprint final.

And so Bolt leaves the Bird's Nest on 23 August 2015 just the same way as he left it on 16 August 2008 – as the world's fastest man, if not outright, then at least when it counts. Bolt did not blink when facing his toughest assignment.

Perhaps we should not have been surprised. Bolt is a hero, and going back to an earlier Hollywood cliché, the hero always escapes in the final reel.

From IAAF Website
   

Jean Lowrie-Chin
   

Thursday, August 20, 2015

That Beijing gift for Garvey



Observer column for MON 17 August 2015 by Jean Lowrie-Chin
Gold and Two Silvers! Victors Shelly-Ann, Kerron and Sherone
 As we look towards Beijing for the upcoming World Championships, I remember August 17, 2008 when my husband Hubie and I were there for the Olympics.  I remember saying on our way to the Bird’s Nest, “We have to get a Gold for Marcus Garvey’s birthday,”  a bit ambitious as we had already scored two Golds and there were rumours that young Shelley-Ann Fraser was not at her fittest. This was her big day – her first Olympic 100-metres final, along with team mates Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart.
 
We were on our feet even before the starter’s gun, and as they stormed to the finish with our ‘Pocket Rocket’ in the lead, we shouted, “One-Two-Three!” But a Russian looked at the board and shouted back, “No Jamaica!  It is ONE-TWO-TWO!”  Later, as we stood teary-eyed for Jamaica’s National Anthem, two Jamaican flags made their way up the poles, as it had not been even imagined that they would need three. (The London Olympics took the lesson for the Bolt-Blake-Weir One-Two-Three).

And so, I returned to our hotel to blog on this historic event, and to write a birthday tribute to our Hero. I went to the Marcus Garvey website www.marcusgarvey.com, and there in the masthead was a medal on a ribbon, and the words, “Look for me in the whirlwind”! In awe I wrote, “I want to believe that our Gold and Silver medals are special birthday gifts to this great Jamaican.”  

Garvey says, “Keep Cool”

 On the same website is this poem by Garvey, timely advice for politicians on both sides who seem to be losing their cool:
Let no trouble worry you;
Keep cool, keep cool!
Don't get hot like some folk do,
Keep cool, keep cool!
What's the use of prancing high
While the world goes smiling by.
You can win if you would try,
Keep cool, keep cool.


And so, let us remember this great philosopher of the twentieth century who influenced so many other legends including Dr Martin Luther King Jr.  It was the wise Ken Jones who left us last month, who distilled some of Garvey’s finest quotes in the book, “Marcus Garvey said .. Up You Mighty Race! You Can Accomplish What You Will,” and recorded his call to leaders to give their people “a sense of dignity and destiny”.

Let us hope that today will be a day of reflection on these words for our leaders, some of whom have saddened us with their disrespect. The accounting will be harsh for those who call themselves representatives of a people who are in a state of fear and despair, and long for protection and prospects.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rest in Peace dear Winston Sill

Winston Sill's loved ones had a beautiful Thanksgiving Service for his life of excellence at the Church of the Transfiguration in Meadowbrook yesterday.  Three generations of journalists have benefitted from the ace photographer's calm guidance. I was fortunate as a rookie reporter in the seventies at the Jamaica Daily News to have Winston by my side on assignments. 



  These are scenes from the Service in which his children and former President of the PAJ Ben Brodie participated. 

Observer photo editor Michael Gordon gave a moving rendition of the 'Our Father' on his harmonica.
Thank you Christene King for being a true media Sister in helping to organise this inspiring send-off.
- Jean Anita