The chase for new athletics thresholds and attendant woes

Anyone attending the recently concluded Beijing Olympics would probably have come away virtually ‘drunk’ from the sheer number of world records established.
Once more mankind has reset the heights that can be achieved in the physical realm. To many therefore the setting of these new sporting thresholds suggests that man continues to extend his capacity to do more in physical endeavour than hitherto thought possible.

Changed attitudes
The continued pushing of the sporting threshold has left many raising new questions as to the primary causal factors to be considered.
Usain Bolt has performed incredibly well. Those who saw him as a youngster several years ago recognised his immense potential as an athlete. Some may suggest that given his performances in 2004 at the Carifta Games in Bermuda one would have expected him to achieve his successes much earlier than the Beijing Olympics. Injury and several other distractions may well be blamed for this.
While in the current period some would suggest that one cannot put one’s head on a block for any athlete there has been something special about Bolt and one would certainly hope that he is clean. The achievements of all of the Jamaican medal winners and those from Trinidad and Tobago as well as the performances of young Churandi Martina of the Netherlands Antilles have been a breath of fresh air for the peoples of
the Caribbean and we all hope that they are all good examples for the children of the region to emulate in sport.
Good achievements like those of Bolt will always attract criticisms and we must expect them. Our response must not be that there may well have been more reason to have had an investigation into Florence Griffith-Joyner when she established the remarkable women’s 100m record in 1988 of 10.49, a time that may well have had her competing favourably amongst the men in the Seoul Olympics.
It is no good pointing fingers to the information that has emerged in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet bloc.
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