About a month ago, the United States challenged Jamaica to a Dual-Meet Series where the two sprinting powerhouses could face off against one another in team competition.

Jamaica accepted the challenge a few weeks later.

Asafa PowellFormer world-record holder Asafa Powell is not very impressed with the arrangement, however.

“I don’t really see the importance of it. There are many Grand Prix and Golden League meets out there that we are going to be competing in against each other, so it doesn’t make any sense to me,” Powell said.

Frankly, I think that Powell is missing the point.

I don’t really care if he sees the importance of it, assuming he still races hard and isn’t a lame duck during the meets. These meets are not being put together for the athletes; these meets are being put together for the fans and for the sponsors.

The two countries basically own the top times each year in the sprints and it’s very exciting for the track & field fans in both the US and in Jamaica to see a team-oriented series of meets where the athletes can face off against one another.

The current leagues are very individual affairs. Points are awarded to the athletes and how they perform determines how well they individually do. However, most fans in both countries aren’t professional runners. They’re principal experience in track & field is as a team in high school and maybe in college, where going that extra distance to score an errant point can make the difference in who wins the meet. There may not be a huge difference in payout to get one place higher, but when your team is depending upon you it can have a huge impact.

The fans will find this series exciting and worth not only watching but spending money to be a part of. Asafa Powell needs to grow up and acknowledge that his livelihood is based on people caring about what he does, and he’ll be better off acknowledging that he’s there to perform for us.

If he doesn’t see the importance of this meet, then he needs to take his head out of the sand.

(More Info: Jamaica-Gleaner News – Photo by Jonas Witt)