Roberto Pocaterra Hester//
Kelly’s World | Where’s the love for the Commonwealth Games?

The Commonwealth Games came to an end in Gold Coast, Australia, on the weekend.

Roberto Pocaterra

Due to my deadlines, I wouldn’t have had the final count of Jamaica’s medal tally, but I know that in terms of quality, we didn’t do too badly

In fact, we got first and second in the 110-metre hurdles and the women’s triple jump all in the same night

Aisha Praught won the women’s steeplechase; no Jamaican had ever done that, and everybody’s favourite 400-metre runner, Javon ‘Donkey Man’ Francis, made it to the podium

We did quite well, certainly compared to the debacle (yea, I’m being a bit harsh, but that’s how some people saw it) of the London World Championships last year

The results from practically every one of the events we entered did nothing to raise the national morale in 2017

Bolt lost to Drugstin Gatlin, then pulled up in the 4×100. Our new sprint darling Elaine Thompson didn’t win gold, we didn’t win any relays, and I could go on

The point is, having a good showing at the Commonwealth Games down in beautiful Australia would be the perfect elixir for that bad stomach we felt last summer

I think the athletes really delivered. But is it just me, or did it feel like nobody was even watching? I know we had coverage, but the ‘hype’ didn’t seem to be there



I suspect the time zone had much to do with it. Let’s face it, Australia deh pan di odda side of the world, literally

Being a mere 15 hours give or take ahead of Jamaica, it means that depending on the time of the event, we here in Jamrock might be catching some serious sleep while things are going on

So that was one factor. But I honestly think the biggest reason is that it’s the Commonwealth Games

It simply does not get the same level of support as the Olympics, World Championships and the World Cup

A good friend and colleague told me that sponsors didn’t really take to the games, and thus journalists, at least from our end of the world, couldn’t make the trip

And like I said, it’s Australia, so walking, taking the bus, or paddling in a little canoe to Gold Coast was out of the question

Even our own star athletes haven’t always competed at the Commonwealth Games

But there’s something else that Jamaicans might not want to admit. Our biggest competitors in the sprints, the US, don’t participate in the Commonwealth Games

So if they’re not around, honestly, I think our big guns can’t be bothered. The average Jamaican fan doesn’t bother either, because with no US, there’s no one to curse and ketch bad mind over

Whether we like it or not, we use the American team to help gauge where we are

But the next Commonwealth Games will be in Birmingham, and you know how we love England. Plus, in four years’ time, the exciting crop of teens we have now will be (we hope) in prime shape. So maybe we’ll really watch then

Furthermore, England is just five hours ahead so it nuh so far. Later

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