The world’s fastest man, Digicel-sponsored Usain Bolt, yesterday welcomed All-Ireland Champions, Tipperary, to Jamaica – and even tried his hand at the world’s fastest field game, hurling.
Three time Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt, was all smiles as he met Tipperary’s All-Ireland winning hurling side, during their winter break in the Caribbean. The Jamaican athlete took time out from his busy training schedule to greet the team.
Bolt signed autographs, posed for photographs with the Tipperary players and then tried his hand at hurling. The Jamaican sprinter proved his all round sporting ability among Ireland’s finest hurlers when he picked up the hurley and sliotar and showed off his skills with Tipperary stars, Eoin Kelly and Larry Corbett.
Tipperary skipper, Eoin Kelly, said; “The boys and I have had a terrific time so far in Jamaica, but having this rare and fantastic opportunity to meet one of the world’s greatest sporting icons has topped it all. Usain Bolt is a true athlete and has been very impressive with the hurley today – we would happily welcome him to the team for the 2011 season when we’ll be fighting to retain our title.”
Usain Bolt said; “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to meet other sportsmen who have been successful in their field. I played a little Gaelic football last year but the guys showed me a few skills and I got the hang of the hurley pretty quick. It’s a very fast game and it looks a like it could be a little dangerous – but I’ll try anything.”
Digicel Jamaica CEO, Mark Linehan, said: “Digicel has been a proud sponsor of Usain Bolt since 2004 and is a leading supporter of sport throughout the region so we were delighted today to host the coming together of two great sports – whereby the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, tried his hand at the fastest field sport in the world with the All-Ireland Champions, Tipperary.”
The event was held at the brand new Chukka Adventure centre in Trelawny, where the All-Ireland Champions, and Usain Bolt, enjoyed some of the adventure tours on the Good Hope estate, including river tubing, zip-lining and dune buggy adventures.
Chukka Adventures Director of Resort Marketing, Daniel Melville Junior, said; “We are very pleased to have been chosen by Digicel to host today’s event. The Good Hope Estate is a breathtakingly beautiful part of Jamaica and we are particularly proud to be showcasing it to our visitors from Ireland. We hope Usain and the hurling team enjoy a fantastic day out with our tours.”
Usain Bolt holds three Olympic gold medals. The Jamaican shattered the world record again in 2009, running 100 metres in 9.58 seconds at the world championships, retaining his title as the fastest man on earth. He also holds the 200m world record.
Hurling is an outdoor team sport of ancient Gaelic origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and played with sticks called hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for at least 3,000 years, and is thought to be the world’s fastest field team sport in terms of game play. One of Ireland’s native Gaelic games, it shares a number of features with Gaelic football, such as the field and goals, number of players, and much terminology.