Don Anderson, Jamaica's chef de mission for London 2012, told a gathering in Kingston yesterday that excitement about his country's involvement at the Olympics had reached an all-time fever pitch – all because of one man.
"People from every country in the world are going to go to the Games to see Usain Bolt run," he said. "Everywhere in the world he is considered a phenomenon."
That may be, but the world's fastest man still needs to finish in the first three in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican trials, which open at the National Stadium in Kingston today, if the world is going to see him defend his Olympic crowns in London.
Bolt sets out in the first round 100m heats at 4pm British time as the clear favourite, having clocked the fastest two times in the world this year, 9.76sec and 9.79sec.
On form, Yohan Blake (9.84sec) and Asafa Powell (9.85sec) ought to complete the 1-2-3 but there are four other men in the field who have broken 10 seconds. Apart from his false start disqualification in the 100m final at last year's World Championships, Bolt has not finished outside the top three in any 100m or 200m race since 2006.