|Prince Harry challenges Bolt|
|Thursday, 09 February 2012 13:21|
As part of the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, her grandson Prince Harry of Wales, 27, is scheduled to make an official visit to Jamaica from March 5 to 8. Formalities aside, the "Prince of action," who has been on military assignment in Afghanistan and flown combat helicopters, wants to challenge Jamaican and world's fastest man Usain Bolt in a race, of undetermined distance.
An ambassador for Britain's Olympic team, the Prince told London newspaper The Daily Telegraph that he hopes to challenge Bolt to a "fun" race when he visits Bolt at his training track in Kingston while in Jamaica.
According to the report, Bolt, who every sprint athlete representing their country for the 2012 London Olympics has grandiose dreams of defeating, is keen to have this race. The much talked about race however depends on Bolt's demanding training schedule.
Miami sports marketing executive, Wesley Carruthers, said that the publicity of such a race, albeit in fun, would be great promotion for the Olympics, particularly for the Jamaican Olympic team. "You can't really top that exposure. Bolt is a marketer's dream, and [the race] will give tremendous publicity."
Bolt is a phenomenon of modern athletics. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics He broke the world 100 meters record at 9.63 seconds and the 200 meter record, at 19.30 seconds. And at the 2009 World Championships Games in Berlin, he beat his own world records, winning the 100 meters at 9.58 seconds and the 200 meters at 19.19 seconds.
Although he won the 200 meters at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, the world was disappointed when he was disqualified for false-starting in the100 meters. Bolt also holds world records as part of Jamaica's 4 x 100 relay team in the 2008 Olympics and 2011 World Championships. Due to his records and flamboyant performance style, Bolt will be a main attraction at the 2012 Olympics with the world anticipating new world records from him.
The Prince's visit was schedule well in advance of Jamaica's general elections in December 2011. In her inaugural speech in January, newly elected Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller argued that, facing Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, it was time the nation became a republic, finally breaking ties with Queen Elizabeth as Jamaica's head of state. The Queen was reported as saying she would not resist such a move.
In addition to his planned race with Bolt, Prince Harry will also meet with Prime Minister Simpson Miller, participate in military exercises with the Jamaica Defense Force at Up Park Camp, co-pilot a JDF helicopter to Trelawny, visit the Falmouth Pier and renovated Water Square, and attend a "Jamaica Night" reception at the Sandals Royal Caribbean Hotel in Montego Bay.
|Last Updated on Friday, 10 February 2012 12:00|