BY MARK CUMMINGS Editor-at-Large, Western Bureau firstname.lastname@example.org
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Several sports administrators across western Jamaica are predicting that double world record holder Usain Bolt will take the men's 100m title this weekend at the London Olympic Games.
Some even believe that the Trelawny native could better his 9.58seconds record in the blue riband event that he set at the 2009 World Champions in Berlin, Germany.
Among them is Lorna Thorpe, who heads the sports department at Bolt's alma mater, William Knibb High School in Trelawny.
"Usain is ready. He is fit and focussed and my even break his own record in the 100m event," said Thorpe, who is one of the persons credited with mentoring a young Bolt when he started his track career at William Knibb.
" This (the Olympic Games) is a competition, not a trail and after the Olympics Bolt will go down as a legend. He would have changed the entire face of track and field."
In the National Trials to pick Jamaica's team for the Olympics, Bolt was beaten by his training partner, Yohan Blake in both the 100m and 200m events.
Former athletics coach Leon Jackson agrees with Thorpe that Bolt will get the better of Blake in the 100m on Sunday.
"Bolt is fit and ready; he will not lose. He is the only athlete that is taking 41strides to complete the 100m so he is going to be hard to beat," said Jackson, who hails from Bolt's hometown, Sherwood Content.
He is also predicting that Bolt will beat the field in the 200m event, which will also be contested by Blake.
Chairman of the organising committee for the Milo Western Relays Ray Harvey says he too expects Bolt to will the 100m dash.
"I expect Bolt to win. If he is anywhere his maximum he will do about 9.6 seconds, if he is not, (near maximum) then he will do 9.7 and I expect Blake to be right next beside him," he argued.
But Jerry Reid, who is a sports development officer for St James and Hanover is expressing confidence that Blake, who he said has shown superior form over Bolt within the last two months, win the 100m race.
"I don't believe Bolt will win. He seems to be too fat around his belly and I don't think that he has had enough time to properly prepare himself for the race because of his minor injuries as well as his off the field engagements," he explained.
Blake, the IAAF World Championships 100m gold medalist is participating in his first Olympics. His personal best time in the 100m event is 9.75 seconds.