Jamaica Erupts for Bolt's Golden Three-Peat -- Media Watch

(ATR) Also: South Africa congratulates Wayde van Niekerk on his world record-setting 400m victory.

(ATR) Usain Bolt has a way of connecting with the crowd and the fans watching at home that's nearly unprecedented in sports.

When Bolt crosses the finish line, livens the crowd and displayshis signature "Lightning Bolt" celebration pose, it resonates with the public around the world.

The natives of Half-Way Tree, a neighborhood in Kingston, Jamaica, felt that energy as they took to the streets after the announcement of Usain Bolt’s 7th Olympic gold medal victory.

Cheers rang out from the transport center and created a wave of pure joy reported Andre Poyser of The Gleaner. "The excitement could be felt long after leaving the area around the big screen, where everyone had gathered to witness history in the making", he adds.

A Jamaican native currently residing overseas told The Gleaner that she had returned to the island just to watch the race.

"The entire Jamaica is proud" stated RJR News who spoke with theMinister of Sports, Olivia "Babsy" Grange. Grange mentionsBolt is the king of sprints and he will be for a very very long time.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness even named Bolt's latest victory a legendary and historic moment.

Historic and Legendary Win by Usain Bolt – PM Holness https://t.co/l1A4qENyyK pic.twitter.com/nSbChYNGJW

— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) August 15, 2016

#History pic.twitter.com/bumtkzGgCz

— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) August 15, 2016

"It was brilliant. I didn’t go so fast, but I’m so happy I won. I told you guys I was going to do it," Bolt expressed.

Like many other Olympians after a big win, Bolt took to Twitter to convey his love for his home of Jamaica and his people.

Jamaica Stand Up!!!

This for you my people

— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) August 15, 2016Photos of Bolt dashing past his competitors with a toothy grin has caused a comedic uproar on Twitter, inspiring hilarious memes recognized by news outlets and others across the world and is by far the most-tweeted Olympic moment.

More than a three-peat, @UsainBolt's 100m #gold is #Rio2016's most-Tweeted moment so far: https://t.co/fpPuiScarM pic.twitter.com/nJ45hp5PlK

— Twitter (@twitter) August 15, 2016

Van Niekerk Dominates South African Headlines

Three of the top news websites in South Africa display a similar top headline on Monday – astonishment at Wayde van Niekerk’s record-breaking performance in the men’s 400m at the Rio Olympics.

Van Niekerk broke the world record in the event that had stood for the past 17-years at the legs of Michael Johnson, posting a 43.03 while dominating the competition and bringing home South Africa’s first gold of the Games.

Independent Online features a congratulatory banner on its homepage as well as the top spot in its headlines for van Niekerk. IOL spoke with fellow South African athletics legend Ryk Neethling about what the victory means for young athletes in South Africa.

"I think this is the greatest achievement in [Grey College’s] history. This is huge," Neethling said.

Paul Herman of News24 caught up with van Niekerk’s parents who say they were awestruck by their son’s achievement.

"This is something that’s going to last a lifetime," said Wayde’s mother Odessa Swarts. "It's not every day that a South African goes out and breaks a world record. And I suspect it's not just my proudest moment, but the whole of South Africa's proudest moment."

Telford Vice of the Times Live says that van Niekerk’s performance will inspire other athletes in the country, particularly the South African cricket team. Dean Elgar of the cricket team says all of the athletes are already talking about the incredible feat.

"It’s unbelievable for the country and for the world‚ especially with all the negativity that has been around sport of late," Elgar says. "It’s something to unite us. One person doing that is unbelievable."

Nick Mulvenney of Reuters says that Van Niekerk’s performance offers a glimpse of hope for the future of track and field now that Usain Bolt is leaving the sport.

Compiled by Courtney Colquitt and Kevin Nutley

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