Joggin’ in de sand in a Babylon land

At the recent Commonwealth Games, Jamaica chalked up a remarkable score by winning every single sprint event!

It was all the more impressive given the small size of the population (2.7 million). So how come there are so many fast runners?

Well, if you also look at Jamaica’s ranking in the murder per capita table, you might get a clue. Note that the data is very out of date (2000). Jamaica’s murder tally in 2005 was almost 1700, or almost double the number used in the table (887), leading some to speculate that Jamaica had jumped to the top spot in the murder league.

The source of the sprinters’ success then is that Jamaicans know from a young age and from much experience that at the sound of gunshot …

10 thoughts on “Joggin’ in de sand in a Babylon land”

  1. Great. Thanks.

    Just what I needed.

    ANOTHER reason for my co-workers to think I’m bonkers having just screamed out loud and leapt under my desk… scared the beejeezus outta me that did!!!

  2. The sprinters deserve credit still. Big them up every time. Well, I heard dervan malcolm on the Tony Laing talk show asking for proof of why the country had been called the Murder Capital of the World, as he does not seem to believe it.

  3. No question of disrespecting the fantastic sprint team.

    Dervan Malcolm makes a good point about proof. Primary data is hard to come by regarding Jamaica’s position in the murder rankings. The data I cited comes from 2000. Many Jamaican commentators cited an Economist report from last year as evidence for Jamaica’s leap to the top position, but the lack of detail made me suspect that few people had actually read the report. The article is here but can only be accessed by paid subscription. If anyone has access to it, let me know.

    It’s a pity that such important data is so hard to find. Transparency and accountability are still lacking in Jamaican public organizations. Take the Jamaican Constabulary Force Web site, for example: The Crime of the Month dates from Feb-March 2003!

Over to you!