André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Birmingham, England:Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands, Paul Sabapathy - the Queen's representative in Birmingham, looked around anxiously as members of the Jamaican Olympic team disembarked their coach yesterday and walked on to the grounds of the Cathedral Church of St Phillip in the Bullring area in the city centre.
The Jamaicans were special guests at a joint church service along with the United States Olympic team, but Sabapathy was looking out for one man.
Nine Jamaicans made the trip, while the vast majority, including triple Olympic champion and world record holder Usain Bolt - the most-talked about figure in the build-up to this week's Olympic Games in London, chose to remain in camp and keep their training schedules.
A sports enthusiast and an avid fan of the big Jamaican, Sabapathy admitted that he was disappointed not to have been able to meet Bolt yesterday and gave his prediction for the hotly anticipated men's 100m final at the Olympics.
"I am a big sports fan and I was looking forward to seeing Usain Bolt here because my daughter and son-in-law have got tickets for the men's 100m final in London and I was hoping to get a glimpse of him and an autograph so I could give it to them," Sabapathy told The Sunday Gleaner.
"Absolutely, I am a big fan of Usain Bolt, he is a role model to young people for what he has achieved and being able to remain so modest; he still loves his curry goat," Sabapathy laughed.
As far as who he thinks the eventual winner of the men's 100m will be in London, Sabapathy likes Bolt's chances but is also keeping his eye on another Jamaican as well.
"I think its (100m gold) between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake," Sabapathy said before hailing the presence of both teams in a show of unity.
"It has been absolutely wonderful, the spirit of friendship and getting together; despite all their competing on the sport ground, they are obviously getting along together," Sabapathy said.
"Birmingham is a very multicultural city and in the next five to 10 years, it will be an ethnic majority city, so we are delighted to have both the United States and Jamaican athletics teams here, who are two of the best in the world, it's a great honour."
Jamaica and the United States teams are both based in the city, which lies in the West Midlands region.
The Jamaicans are based at the University of Birmingham and will leave for London on July 26, a day before the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.