At approximately 14:20p.m in Mexico or 15:20p.m local time, a Jamaican, whose given name at birth was Shane Hudson, crossed the finishing line with silver in 49.43 at the Telmex Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico and in so doing he wrote another chapter in the history of the Jamaican paralympic movement and local sport.
The medal is the first by a Jamaican paralympian ‘on foot’ in international track competition. Shane was just beaten on the line by gold medalist Samuel Colnenares of Venezuela who clocked 49.39(PR). Yohknsson Nascimento of Brazil took the bronze in 49.71(PR).
But the silver was all his and he took it with an assertive grasp.
Disappointed but not defeated, Shane said “This is it and I love it” His dream was now a reality and the silver medal was resting securely in the palm of his right hand.
Cheers were not only for Shane but also for Sylvia Grant who brought home the silver medal in the women’s javelin F54-58 with a throw of 20.36m, an American record in F57. It was a sweet accomplishment for Sylvia as she narrowly missed the bronze medal in the women’s discus F53-54. “I could not leave Guadalajara without a medal. This is great, great, great!”
The gold went to Jenyreyes Velazco of Mexico (29.64,PR) and the bronze went to Elia Dora Garcia with 12.90, an American record in F54.
Greatness is far more than an achieved status: it is a culture, a way of thinking, a way of life. Our athletes in Guadalajara have proven this and London 2012 will no doubt witness the continuation of this triumphant spirit and glorious tradition.
One gold and four silvers, a marvelous haul for a team of six which achieved this despite several challenges along the journey. As it was in the beginning so was it at the end: the spirit of Jamaica was felt in a sunlit Telmex Stadium.