Jamaica, the land of wood, water and speed saw the legend Usain Bolt demonstrated his speed on home soil for the final time last night at the National Stadium in Kingston.
Jamaicans love for the man dubbed “Lighting Bolt” goes beyond his talent. His personality, undying love, and respect for his country have allowed Usain to capture the hearts of his fellow countrymen and women.
It is such a humbling yet awe-inspiring moment to hear the man who has acquired a legendary status globally said; “I have never been so nervous in my life,” when he spoke about the number of Jamaicans that turned out to watch him grace the track on home soil for the last time.
The event commenced with a presentation from Glen Mills (the coach of Bolt), different heads of state and officials in the sporting arena.
The meet saw various athletes from across the globe competing to show their love and respect for the man that has made an indelible mark not only in track and field but in the world of sports.
Some of the names of athletes that were present at the JN Racers Grand Prix are Mo Farah, Nickel Ashmeade, Yohan Blake, Wayde van Niekerk, Willy Tarbei, Allyson Felix, Zharnel Hughes, Javaughn Minzie, Lalonde Gordon, Rasheed Dwyer, Warren Weir, Erik Sowinski, Christian Taylor, and Shanieka Thomas-Ricketts.
It was a historic event for more than one reasons:
9.97 seconds win in his 100m event, leading the pack from the start of the race to the finish; allowed Yohan Blake to have his share of the limelight.
The South African 400m world record holder, Wayde van Niekerk set a world leading time of 19.84 seconds winning the men’s 200m event. Wayde van Niekerk finished ahead of Rasheed Dwyer, who was second in 20.11 seconds.
One of the most amazing moment was when Willy Tarbei nabbed first place from world record holder David Rudisha on the line to win the Men’s 800m.
Mo Farah was the usual crowd pleaser and he crossed the finish line first with his signature Bolt pose when he won the men’s 3000m in 7:41.20 ahead of Pat Tierman, 7:41.62.
The highly anticipated moment started with his ‘To di worl’ pose as he was being introduced. A brief moment of humor as Mo Farah darted on the infield, with a camera in his hand to capture the historic moment with his good friend.
Destiny sealed it and history has recorded it because the same time the legend, Usain Bolt ran the 100m the first time, which convinced coach Mills that he had the skill to compete in the 100m is the exact time Bolt ran his final race.
Usain Bolt’s time was 10.03 seconds for his final race on home soil.
Javaughn Minzie was second in 10.15 with Nickel Ashmeade running third in 10.18.
“There are no words, from World Juniors the support that I have been getting from Jamaica has been remarkable. I could not have done this without my parents, my friends, my best friend NJ, I want to thank Jamaica, I never expected this. It’s big to see everybody turn out, it shows that they appreciated what I did and it was an honour for me. I really appreciate you guys for coming out and supporting me. After my friend’s death, it was really hard for me, I have never been through something like this, I had to take some time but I knew what I had to do and I knew Germaine (Mason) would want me to do this. This was special,” said Bolt after his event.
The evening was an emotional one from start to finish. After the race, Usain did his victory lap and everyone stood in the National Stadium as a sign of respect for the legend.
The man that has done his country and himself proud, Usain Bolt, will have a spot in the hearts of Jamaicans as long as the hand of time keeps turning.
Written by Stacey Fowler