Paulton Gordon, Gleaner Writer
He wants to be a legend and, based on what happened on Sunday, Usain Bolt is well on his way. The signs were there to see in the semi-final when he shut down the turbo and landed at 9.87 seconds before strolling off to prepare for the finals. Also looking impressive were Yohan 'the Beast' Blake and Justin Gatlin who had a point to prove after all the ranting about toppling the Jamaicans. In the finals, Usain dispelled all the doubts as to who is the big man when he bettered his own Olympic record to win in a scorching 9.63 seconds in the chill of the British night.
Earlier in the evening the atmosphere was electric as we boarded the underground train on our way to the Olympic Park. We were asked on at least 10 occasions, 'is it Bolt or Blake?'. One fan from Australia proffered that Bolt has had too many injury concerns over the last few weeks and as such he was tipping Blake to win. The British fans were overwhelmingly in Bolt's corner. One police officer stopped our group and proclaimed that she was by far the most popular law enforcement officer in Britain. When I proceeded to inquire as to the reason why, she promptly took out her phone and showed us a picture of her posing with Usain Bolt.
Jennifer Bolt cautious
I met up with Jennifer Bolt (Usain's mom) at the Westfield mall just prior to walking over to the Olympic stadium. His dad Wellesley, manager Norman Peart and publicist Carole Beckford and sprinter Jason Young were hanging out waiting on the appointed time. I asked Jennifer to predict the outcome of the race. Her comments were "I know Usain will win but I am not giving you a time". When pressed as to why, she said, "The weather is uncertain which may affect the time, but I know he will come out on top". In Beijing I had gone through the same routine with her where just prior to the race she told me with much conviction that her son would win in a time of 9.69 seconds.
The dust has settled, and our 100m champions have retained their titles. In the recent past Gail Devers and Carl Lewis the only persons who can make such a claim. In Lewis' case he was awarded the gold in Seoul, South Korea (1988) after finishing behind Ben Johnson who was later disqualified. The hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence have paid off. It is on to the 200m, hurdles events, and relays. Can we top the medal count in Beijing?