The headlines today: from the Gleaner: ‘Beast’ devours Bolt, from the Observer: ‘Blake beats Bolt in 9.75’. It was a thrilling time at the National Stadium last night for the Olympic time trials. This news article does a better job of describing the situation, if you are so inclined to read more. The headlines focus on the men, but the women turned in an equally amazing result. This was the second time I have been at the stadium to see these incredible athletes do what they do. Getting to and from the stadium proved a challenge, at least if you were in a car. It was gridlock in the immediate surroundings, so we walked there and back.
Interestingly, the crowd was less rowdy this time than last. It was explained to me that this is because last time, there were high school athletes competing, and allegiance to high schools is huge here. The crowd may have been less rowdy, but it was definitely more intense.
A woman in front of me was meticulously taking notes on every result and it seemed almost everybody had an opinion of every single performance. It is amazing to see how much ownership and pride Jamaicans take in their athletes. We were all on our feet during the 100 metre races, for both men and women. The crowd favourites seemed to be Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell and of course, Usain Bolt. (At one point, the announcer mistakenly called him Usain Blake, which caused an uproar of hilarity among the crowd. So the top three performers in each category are now off to the Olympics in a few weeks.