Jamaica came to a standstill shortly after the country’s most recognisable face, Usain Bolt, reiterated his status as the fastest man on the planet by winning the men’s 100 metres finals at the London Olympics.
The threat of rain from Tropical Storm Ernesto did not prevent thousands from gathering in public squares, rum shops, sports bars and even in supermarkets where television screens were mounted, as they heralded Usain Bolt’s triumph Sunday night, CMC reports.
As the three Jamaican athletes, Bolt, Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake took to the blocks, Jamaicans prayed for a clean sweep of the race and they were not disappointed when Bolt, just days away from his 26th birthday, set a new Olympic record of 9:63 seconds to successfully defend his Olympic title.
Blake finished second in a personal best time of 9.75 seconds but there was disappointment for Asafa Powell who pulled up with injury but still crossed the line last in 11.99.
The sound of victory resounded across the island as pot covers became the instruments of choice along with the blowing of vuvuzelas.
Shortly after the race Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller issued a statement congratulating the Jamaican athletics squad, including Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce and Veronica Campbell Brown -- who collected gold and bronze medals, respectively, in the 100 metres women’s final Saturday.
About the men’s 100 metre race, Simpson Miller said it was a race of sheer brilliance.
“I congratulate Usain Bolt on setting a new Olympic record, a truly magnificent performance,” said Simpson Miller.
“I also congratulate Asafa for making the 100 metres finals at the Olympics for the third time, and regret his injury which prevented him from performing at the level for which he has prepared so hard.
“Of the six medals available in the 100 metres men’s and 100 metres women’s finals, Jamaica has captured four. This performance of our men and women demonstrates, once again, that Jamaica is more than a name, more than a brand: it is the pride of the people.
“My heartiest congratulations go out to our team - the athletes, sports administrators, coaches, managers, doctors, and physiotherapists - everyone who has contributed to this success,” she added.