WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A. – Keep an eye on these Jamaican athletes at the London Games:
Samantha Albert, Montreal, Canada, equestrian: The England resident, whose father is Jamaican, will represent the green and yellow at a second Olympics after competing at the 2008 Beijing Games. Albert, 41, will compete in the individual eventing – consisting of a dressage test, a cross-country test and two jumping tests. Her horse’s name is Carraig Dubh.
Alia Atkinson, Kingston, swimming: Atkinson, 23, will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke. Atkinson, who graduated from Texas A&M University in the United States, held her country’s flag at the opening ceremonies of the 2007 Pan American Games. This will be her third Olympics.
Johan Blake, St. James, running: The sprinter stunned the track and field world during Olympic qualifying when he bested heavily favored star Usain Bolt in the 100- (9.75 seconds) and 200-meter dashes (19.80). Blake also is a member of his country’s 4x100-meter relay team. Blake, 22, won gold medals at the 2011 Track and Field World Championships in the 100-meter dash and the 4x100-meter relay.
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Trelawny, running: Campbell-Brown, 30, is slated to run the 100 -and 200-meter dashes as well as a leg in the 4x100-meter relay. Campbell-Brown won gold in the 200-meter dash at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and also helped lead the 4x100 meter relay team to the top of the podium in 2004. She also is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Jamaica.
Kenneth Edwards, Kingston, taekwondo: The martial artist is slated to fight in the 80-plus kilogram (176 pounds) weight class. He is one of 16 fighters from 16 different nations in single-elimination event. Edwards, 26, has spent the past year in New York City training with Jamaican coach Alvin Bernard to become the first fighter to represent his country in the event.
Maurice Smith, St. Catherine, decathlon: Smith, 31, hopes to build on a 14th-place finish at the 2004 Athens Games. Since then, he won the event at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games and took the silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games. The decathlon combines points from 10 track and field sports. The athlete with the most cumulative points wins.