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A New Book by Richard Moore Examines How Jamaica Surpassed the United States in Sprinting

123331_54_news_hub_115441_656x500At the last Olympics, three of the eight 100 metres finalists were from Jamaica, including the current king of sprinting Usain Bolt and silver medal winner Yohan Blake.

But how has Jamaican sprinting reached such heights to be able to not only match, but surpass its much more populous neighbour the United States?

That story is examined in The Bolt Supremacy: The Inside Story of Jamaica’s Sprint Factory by Richard Moore, which is long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

He joined us on Off The Ball to talk about the motivation behind the book, but also told us about some of the details behind Jamaica’s “remarkable” rise.

Citing the 200 metres 1-2-3 by Jamaica at London 2012, Moore revealed that only were they three sprinters from Jamaica, but also “three sprinters coached by the same coach and from the same corner of the island”.

Moore also touched on the culture in sprinting beyond the issue of doping.

“When I went to Jamaica what I actually found was a doping problem, if you can call it that, in the sense that anti-doping in Jamaica is not what it could be. But I also found an incredible culture around sprinting and athletics that I felt the longer time I spent there, the more people I spoke to, offered more than a partial explanation for the success they had,” he said.

Some of those factors include the fastest young Jamaicans being steered towards cycling rather than other sports in comparison to other nations.

“I realised that Jamaica’s probably the only place in the world where the fastest kids become sprinters. In most other countries, fast kids do other sports,” he said.


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