Kingston, Jamaica: Jamaica's football boss Horace Burrell has called on authorities to confer on superstar sprinter Usain Bolt the Order of Merit, the country's fourth highest honour.
Burrell said Bolt had earned vast respect and admiration internationally and had also brought Jamaica further into the global spotlight with his performances, reports Xinhua.
"It's incredible, you know, sitting there, and in fact watching the performance of our athletes and listening to some of the commentators and what they had to say. When you listen to the commentators on the international circuit and the kind of respect that has been given to our athletes and by extension our country, it's just incredible," Burrell said.
"And we need to understand the power of sports, so sponsors, having joined, it's a great opportunity for you and your product. Having said that, I want to use this opportunity this morning to make a very strong recommendation to the powers that be, the government, the governor general, or whomever, to bestow at the appropriate time the Order of Merit upon Usain St. Leo Bolt. He's deserving of it."
Bolt, perhaps the greatest sprinter of all time, once again proved his quality by winning both the 100 and 200 metres races at the recently concluded World Championship in Beijing. The Jamaican entered the showpiece event with his form under cloud but delivered two astonishing performances to repeat as World Champion in both sprints.
He is also the reigning Olympic champion in both sprints, a feat he also accomplished at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
"Usain Bolt has to be one of the greatest Jamaicans that has lived, is living, believe me; and I believe that young man deserves all the accolades that can be bestowed upon him at this time," Burrell said.
Bolt currently carries the country's fifth highest honour, the Order of Jamaica, which was conferred in 2009. He was also designated 'Ambassador-at-Large', a diplomatic title.