Bolt mania in the city - Street celebrations in Half-Way Tree, downtown Kingston

August 15, 2016
Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer A man celebrates in Half-Way Tree last night.
Gladstone Taylor/ Photographer Scores of joyous Jamaicans celebrate in Half-Way Tree on Sunday.
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer A man, a baby and a woman watch the men's 100m atop a walll in downtown Kingston.
Jermaine Barnaby/Freelance Photographer People celebrate during the men's 100m final in downtown Kingston.
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A bolt of lightning flashed across the eastern skies. The camera was on Usain Bolt’s arch-rival, Justin Gatlin, but it appeared nature was sounding an ominous warning of things to come.
St Andrew’s capital, Half-Way Tree, and downtown Kingston were jam-packed with supporters anxious to see Bolt create history.
“Dweet Bolt,” one woman in Half-Way Tree shouted as the athletes got to the marks.
And when the runners went from their blocks there was a collective cheer, which quickly muted as Gatlin appeared to have had the advantage by mid-race. However, as Bolt surged forward, the decibel level rose a million units, and it was near pandemonium when the big man got to the tape first. People beat pot covers, blew whistles and vuvuzelas, shouted, cheered, screamed, danced, and sang in celebration. History was created and the gold medal stayed with the island.
Block the roadway
In Half-Way Tree, Constant Spring Road was blocked off by people bringing traffic to a standstill. Some still lingered long after the race was over, thanks to the music that was being played atop the Transport Centre. Police on the scene were eventually successful in clearing the roadways and allowing the flow of traffic again. The police in downtown Kingston did not allow the crowd that had gathered to block the roadway, but the people still managed to celebrate in the areas they were allowed to stay.
For Kirk Mullings, a bus conductor, Bolt is “a great asset to Jamaica” who has used his talent to unite Jamaicans. “A time dem put down the eediat thing about PNP and Labourite. Dem fi live good. Usain Bolt do a great thing fi Jamaica, everybody come together. A suh wi fi live,” Mullings said.
“Mi know say prayer work. Mi know say prayer work,” a woman shouted.
Another bystander who was in a jubilant mood told THE STAR, “Dem need fi name the man Legend Usain Bolt after tonight.”
“This is a wonderful day for us as Jamaicans, Jesus loves Jamaica, Jamaica belong to Jesus,” a woman of Christian faith said to our news team.
A Jamaican woman who resides overseas was also on hand for the history making moment. She told THE STAR: “It’s a moment that I can’t describe. I am extremely excited and elated. This is a moment in history. I’m very happy to be a part of it. I am a Jamaican, I don’t live here but I am here for this.”

 

 

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