Our Modern Athlete correspondent Ciara Picco brings us the experience of her journey to the Puma Disc Launch in Jamaica! A day at the track watching the Boys & Girls Championships, a chance to see the best rising talent Jamaica has to offer! It was going to be a great day!
The body clock had me up early today, so another easy start to the day, bath time, breakfast a bit of the T20 World Cup then off to the lobby for our first transfer.
Again PUMA had us in suspense with our initial destination.
Just down the road from the hotel we found ourselves stopping in at Chris Gayle’s Triple Century Sports Bar. In what I’ve come to experience as the norm here in Kingston, the serving staff are only too happy to get you what you need. First come a wave of waters, then Coke, Sprite and even a few Red Stripes. Next it’s onto the food a selection of wings, quesadillas, spring rolls, pork wraps, shrimp kebabs and salads. We ate our fill then it was off to the track champs!!
At the bar, the champs were on the big screen and so we got a taste for what was waiting ahead at the stadium. Claxons blaring, flags flying fanatical supporters willing their talented athletes home.
It was an electric atmosphere with insane amounts of energy on and off the track, the three favourite teams on the day are Kingston College KC, Jamaica College JC, and Calabar.
After my conversation with Jevon Francis I could only come here and support Calabar. As it turned out our tickets were in a section dominated by the Calabar faithful, right into the noise and right into the winning team we went.
Overnight Calabar were in third but with their performances earlier in the day, by the time the 110m hurdles came around they were consistently edging ahead. C’Bar took the race with a 1,2 finish.
The roar you hear in the race is consistent with every event no matter the age group, everyone gets the same amount of spurring on. The crowd even erupted for the Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness when he arrived.
The pride, passion and professionalism shown by the athletes, the organizers and the 30,000 strong crowed really lends itself to a great development structure for the youth to flourish through. These champs are definitely, one hundred percent, the reason why Jamaicans excel in track and field, and consistently swap world records with each other.
Our final stop of the evening was at Tracks and Records. After a long day out on the track it was now time to refuel. Naturally the championship was showing on every live screen in the restaurant so we were able to catch the final events which included the 4 x 400m relay. Just like in the stadium, the restaurant erupted, with the news of Calabar’s win in the race and overall in the meet.
The last week has been a great success, not only for the puma athletes, but for the brand themselves on the whole. With my Disc Ignites put to a full day’s work I’m still walking on fresh feet, happily trotting back to my hotel room for a good sleep before departure.
That’s it from Jamaica, thank you for having me.