Jamaica held its breath. Trinidad refused to breathe. The entire Caribbean froze in anticipation, the taste of victory thick on their tongues, a sweet scent wafting up in their nostrils. The second before the gun, the world was absolutely still. Even the birds refused to sing. Something great was about to happen. No-one made a sound. Then the gun, and they were off.
It only took 9.69 seconds for the world to find its voice again. Like Lightning, Usain Bolt struck and unsettled China's Bird's Nest, defying history's boundaries and shattering international, regional and national records, and giving Jamaica another reason to smile.
Words cannot describe the euphoria emanating from Beijing, China, since Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt secured his place in history- at a delicate 21- as the first Jamaican to win the Olympic 100m gold, and the world’s fastest man. Caribbean sunshine flooded China’s Bird’s Nest when Trinidad’s Tyrone Thompson stood his own ground and took silver in the event, with Jamaica’s Asafa Powell and Michael Frater copping fifth and sixth places respectively, and Churandy Martina, from the Netherland Antilles, coming a close fourth. The dense smog must have lifted by at least a couple of inches, allowing a little bit of Caribbean light, laughter and even tears into the eyes and hearts of the spectators who witnessed this phenomenal, unmatchable moment in time.
In just under 10 short seconds, an unprecedented 6 Caribbean men participated in an Olympic 100m final. Carnival could never rival the effects of all 6 Caribbean nations caught up in celebration at once. Pot covers came out, whistles were exhausted, voices grew hoarse from strained overuse. The region climaxed in the ecstasy of its grandest accomplishment yet – proving that the Caribbean is indeed the world’s sprint capital, and that Jamaicans are a ‘little but tallawah’ people.