Guadalajara, as a cultural and economic centre, enjoys significance in the annals of Mexican history and continues to occupy pride of place in the lives of its people and many of the men and women of that central american country.
Equally important for Jamaicans now is this city for here, in the capital of the state of Jalisco, history was made by Shane Hudson who became the first athlete ‘on foot’ from yard, from the cool climes of Moneague in the garden parish of Saint Ann, to compete in a final of the track competition of the Parapan American Games and indeed in any international paralympic championship. However, let us not forget, that he, also, in October 2010 in Delhi, India, at the Commonwealth Games, sprinted into history by becoming Jamaica’s first athlete ‘on foot’ to participate in a track event at an international championship where he narrowly missed the start of that coveted 100m final.
Shane placed sixth in the men’s 200m T46 final with a time of 23.15. It was a run of personal conviction, a sprint for pride of country and a historic run for Jamaica.
In his words, “this is my time, my place, Jamaica’s fiesta and glory”
The gold medal went to Yohansson Nascimento of Brazil in a world record time of 22.34, the silver to Ettiam Calderon of Cuba in 22.54 and the bronze to Raciel Gonzalez of Venezuela in 22.72
But history is still in the making for soon, less than twenty four hours from the publication of this report, Shane will kneel on the chevron of the Telmex stadium in the 400m final at 2:53p.m. Jamaica time as the favourite for the revered gold medal.
Historic may not have been the performance of Sylvia Grant in the final women’s discus F57-58 where she finished fourth, outside of the medal positions, but it was a determined effort on the part of this many time Jamaican paralympian who threw her season’s best of 22.66 m. The gold went to Roseane Santos of Brazil (30.03m), the silver to Angeles Ortiz of Mexico (29.49m) and the bronze to Catherine Callahan of the United States (22.68).
The rays of the Guadalajaran sun continue to shine on our athletes in the architectural beauty of the Telmex stadium and, as sunset approaches and the curtains fall at the 2011 Parapan American Games, our athletes would have given us an inspiring script for reading and a show to remember.