In Jamaica, sprinter Usain Bolt electrifies a nation

Thu Aug 9, 2012 6:22pm EDT
 
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By Horace Helps

KINGSTON, Jamaica (Reuters) - Jamaicans broke into wild celebrations in the streets of the capital on Thursday as they watched the island's sprinters pull off a historic clean sweep of the 200-meters at the London Olympic Games.

Usain "Lightning" Bolt, 25, and Yohan "The Beast" Blake, 22, or the "Double B" duo as they have been dubbed in Jamaica, left the rest of the field in their wake on Thursday to take gold and silver, only days after they did the same in the 100-meters.

Hundreds of Jamaicans danced in the streets, honked horns, waved flags, hugged each other and screamed with delight, after the black, green and gold Jamaican colors left the world behind.

"This is glory, I can't even talk," shouted Jeanette Brown of Kingston.

"Oh my God, 1-2-3, that maaad running, maaad running," said Desmond Samms, using Jamaican slang to describe his wonderment, as the crowd chanted spontaneously: "Usain Bolt, Usain Bolt, Usain Bolt," close to where the sprint star crashed his BMW in early June.

Bolt became the first man to complete the sprint double at back-to-back Olympics. Adding to the feat, a third Jamaican, debutant Olympian Warren Weir, won bronze in the 200-meters, underlining Jamaica's dominance in the sprint events.

"Gold, silver & bronze! Incredible! The country has gone nuts," wrote Kingston attorney Taynia Nethersole in an email moments after the race. She was in a board meeting that broke to watch the race. "The euphoria (including my own) was overwhelming!" she added.

Now, expectations are rising Jamaica will take gold again in Sunday's 4 x 100-meter relay final to round off what is shaping up to be the most successful Olympics in Jamaican history.   Continued...

 
Jamaica's Usain Bolt runs to win the men's 200m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium August 9, 2012. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini