Jamaican Olympic Track & Field Team: Usain Bolt and Most Recognizable Athletes

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIJuly 27, 2012

BEIJING - AUGUST 23:  (L to R) Michael Frater, Usain Bolt, Nesta Carter and Asafa Powell of Jamaica receive their gold medals during the medal ceremony for the Men's 4 x 100m Relay Finalheld at the National Stadium on Day 15 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 23, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jamaica are a powerhouse when it comes to athletics.

They have depth and talent, strength and speed, and are likely to feature prominently throughout the 2012 London Olympic Games as a formidable nation at the athletics arena.

Having said that, outside of Usain Bolt, most of the world really doesn't know much about Jamaican athletics—they don't know who to look out for, who the stars are and what names they should be waiting to see atop the gold-medal standings.

That's why we've put together the most recognizable athletes on the Jamaican athletics team—both track and field—and while you might not know all of them, you certainly will by the time the 2012 London Olympics is finished.

Let's kick it off with the man we're all bound to know.


Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt is the current world record holder in both the men's 100- and 200-meter events, the reigning gold medalist in both events and one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet.

He is the man to beat at the upcoming London Olympics and will no doubt draw plenty of attention as he seeks repeat success at this year's Games.

He will face competition in the events—which we'll get to in a minute—but there is little doubting that Bolt will run as the favorite in both events, as he seeks to keep his title as the fastest man in the history of the world.


Yohan Blake

If anybody is going to take down Usain Bolt at the 2012 London Olympics, then Yohan Blake is the man to do it.

The previously unheard-of sprinter stunned the world when he took down Bolt in the 100 meter at the Jamaican Olympic Trials last month—and then backed it up by doing the same in the 200 meters. 

He is flying high and the biggest danger to Bolt claiming gold at this year's Olympics—in fact, he could almost be considered the only danger to Bolt.

That certainly makes him a man to watch.


Asafa Powell

You'll also want to throw Asafa Powell into the list as an athlete who will be there in the 100-meters final—arguably the most anticipated event at every Olympic Games.

You might recognize the name, and that's because Powell as a former world record holder of the event and has clinched gold for Jamaica at the Olympics previously.

He too impressed at the Jamaican Olympic Trials, and while he was clearly behind the likes of Bolt and Blake that time, he could churn out a shock performance to clinch gold in this year's Games. 

Even if he doesn't, we will get to see him again as he competes in the 4x100-meter relay for his country—alongside the two athletes mentioned previously.


Veronica Campbell-Brown

Don't think that just the men are the stars of Jamaican athletics—the women are just as strong and just as fast and could kick my butt any day of the week.

Veronica Campbell-Brown is the star of the women's 200 meters and will run as the favorite in the event after clinching the gold medal at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.

Should she clinch gold at the 2012 London Olympics, she'll become the only woman in history to win three consecutive gold medals over 200 meters. 


Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

So the men have the 100 and the 200 meters covered; as do the women in Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the reigning gold medalist from the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 100 meters.

The 25-year-old will look to repeat as Olympic champion after dominating the field four years ago. Throw in gold at the 2008 World Athletics Final and gold at the 2009 World Championships, and you've got another star sprinter to keep your eye on.


Melanie Walker

One more female to round out our list of the most recognizable athletes is Melanie Walker, the reigning women's 400-meter hurdles champion after her success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Walker holds the Olympics record in the event and set the second fastest time in history to clinch gold at the 2009 World Championships—a feat she'll be looking to repeat at the upcoming London Olympics.


All statistics courtesy of Jamaica Olympic Association


Any other Jamaican athletes you think we should be watching?

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