Jennifer Bolt explains Doha absence
Jennifer Bolt, mother of sprinting legend Usain Bolt, says she and her husband Wellesley not travelling to the just-concluded IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar, had nothing to do with her son’s retirement from track and field in 2017 but was because of the patriarch’s recent illness.
Wellesley suffered a stroke recently, but while Jennifer declined to go into great detail about his condition, she said that he is showing improvement. She was, however, upbeat about the performances of the Jamaicans in Doha, who mined 12 medals, just one short of their best tally of 13 at the Moscow edition of the World Championships in 2013.
“It is looking good. The athletes are doing their best,” she told The Gleaner. “I’m just sorry I’m not there to enjoy the atmosphere due to circumstances beyond my control, but I’m happy they are doing well.
“The men aren’t performing as they should, but the ladies are stepping up. I am extremely happy for Fedrick Dacres (silver medal in the men’s discus throw) and Tajay Gayle (gold medal and national record of 8.69m in the men’s long jump), who did well in the field events. Also, Shelly-Ann (Fraser-Pryce, gold medals in the women’s 100m and women’s 4x100m), after having her first child and going back to do so well. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that a couple of Jamaicans are doing exceptionally well.”
NO MEDAL FOR MEN’S SPRINTS
Bolt said that her only real disappointment was not seeing Jamaica medal in the men’s sprintw, especially in light of Yohan Blake, Usain’s former Racers Track Club teammate, missing out on a medal in the 100m final, clocking 9.97 seconds for fourth place.
“You know, I don’t expect them to do what Usain did, but I was looking forward to somebody taking over from him,” she said. “I think now, they will go back to the drawing board and do what they have to do in order to get it right next year.”
Doha was the first major global track and field event that the Bolts missed since their son’s rise to global stardom at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but Jennifer says that they are already making plans for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, next summer.
“I’m looking forward to going to the Olympics next year,” she said. “All being well, we both (she and her husband) will be there. He is coming on quite well, so hopefully, next year, he will be up and about. We have to give God thanks because it could have been worse.”