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Jamaica Bobsled Jazmine Fenlator
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Jamaica women’s bobsled team challenges for Olympic spot

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Jamaica is in position to qualify an Olympic women’s bobsled team for the first time after achieving its best-ever elite international result Saturday.

But the standings are close, and there are plenty of qualifying races left.

Driver Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian (a 2014 U.S. Olympian) and brakewoman Carrie Russell (a 2013 World 4x100m champion in track and field) finished seventh in a World Cup in Winterberg, Germany.

Jamaica jumped from two spots out of the Olympic field to provisionally in the Olympic field by a small margin over a Romanian sled.

Qualifying races run to mid-January, but Saturday’s result could prove a game-changer.

Fenlator-Victorian and Russell competed in a sled Saturday that’s named “Mr. Cool Bolt” after “Cool Runnings” and Usain Bolt, according to International Bobsled and Skeleton Federation announcers.

They became the first Jamaican women to compete on the World Cup in 16 years.

Eleven Jamaicans have competed at the Winter Olympics — all men, and all bobsledders save ski cross racer Errol Kerr in 2010, according to Olympic historians.

Fenlator-Victorian, 32, announced her plan to switch representation to Jamaica (where her father is from) in 2015.

The year before, she finished 11th in her Olympic debut in Sochi with two-time Olympic track and field athlete Lolo Jones.

Fenlator-Victorian made here race debut for Jamaica in November 2016, posting second- and third-place finishes on the lower-level North American Cup before Saturday’s World Cup debut.

The seventh-place finish Saturday put Jamaica 24 points ahead of Romania for the last Olympic spot, but there are plenty of races left in qualifying and 24 points can be made up in one race.

Jamaica is also vying to qualify in two-man bobsled for Pyeongchang after making the Olympics in 2014 for the first time since 2002.

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Usain Bolt gets statue near Bob Marley, more Jamaican icons (photos)

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A statue of Usain Bolt in his “To di World” pose was unveiled near those of other Jamaican icons like Bob Marley in Kingston on Sunday night.

“No words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” Bolt said at the unveiling, according to the Jamaica Gleaner. “How is this even possible? Barefoot youth from country, run up and dung, drop, buck toe, all them supp’n there. I’ve never ever, at no point, felt that I would be in this moment, as big as it is now among statues at the National Stadium where it all began.

“You really got all details right, even my toes, which are ugly. I’ve really put out my hardest to make this country proud and, even though I’m retired, will always try my best to continue making my country proud.”

The eight-foot, bronze statue stands in Independence Park, near Jamaica’s National Stadium.

A Jamaican government official said Bolt’s statue is across the street from Marley’s statue.

There are also statues of Jamaican Olympic sprint legends Merlene Ottey and Herb McKenley in the park.

In the coming years, more Jamaican sprinters from Bolt’s era will get statues, including Shelly-Ann Fraser-PryceVeronica Campbell-Brown and Asafa Powell.

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Wallace Spearmon on partying with Usain Bolt

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NEW YORK – U.S. sprinter Wallace Spearmon had been reluctant to discuss details of partying with longtime friend Usain Bolt.

But now that Bolt is retired, Spearmon was asked whether he could reveal any new Bolt stories.

“Oh man, you’re going to get me in trouble,” Spearmon said, laughing, at the USATF Black Tie and Sneakers Gala.

Spearmon had Bolt’s number a decade ago. He went into the 2008 Olympics with a 9-5 head-to-head edge over the Jamaican, according to Tilastopaja.org. (Bolt went on to win their last 10 head-to-heads.)

In Beijing, Spearmon shared that he partied with a group of Jamaican sprinters including Bolt, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell the night after Bolt won the 200m in world-record time.

Spearmon had finished his Olympics after being disqualified for a lane violation in the 200m final (where he crossed the line third), while Bolt still had the 4x100m relay.

Spearmon does not remember how late they partied, but it was well past 2 a.m. Bolt, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday, ate at least 20 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.

The next day, Bolt, along with Nesta Carter, Frater and Powell, broke the 4x100m world record.

“I was confused as to how he actually did that,” Spearmon said, although the Jamaicans were stripped of the gold medal in January due to Carter’s doping.

Spearmon, who calls Bolt by his nickname “Ugo,” has long admired his friend’s ability to party at Carnival at a time of the year when most other sprinters are locked in at training camps.

“Do you know when Carnival is?” Spearmon asked, referring to the festival that begins the Friday before Ash Wednesday, typically in late February or early March. “Go look up when it is and then when the season starts, and you will see how good he really is. He could party and be super intoxicated, and then win a medal and break a world record.”

Bolt retired after the world championships in August, tearing his left hamstring in his relay finale. He asked Spearmon to stay for a couple of extra days in London, where they bowled.

“Little did he know that I’m from the country, and I do that once a week at least,” said Spearmon, an Arkansas resident who described Bolt as an “average” bowler. “I kicked their butts pretty bad. They told me I’m no longer welcome back to their bowling game.”

Bolt invited Spearmon to go to Australia this month, while Spearmon plans on bringing Bolt to Arkansas in January.

Spearmon is excited to show Bolt his alma mater, the University of Arkansas, as well as “cows, four-wheelers and dirt bikes.”

So how does a retired Bolt compare to a competitive Bolt as a partier?

“It’s not even a comparison,” Spearmon said. “Retired Bolt is out of control.”

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