Jamaica honors Bolt with ambassadorship, highway

KINGSTON Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:55pm EDT

Usain Bolt of Jamaica wins the men's 200 metres race at the IAAF Golden League Memorial Van Damme athletics meeting in Brussels September 4, 2009. REUTERS/Sebastien Pirlet

Usain Bolt of Jamaica wins the men's 200 metres race at the IAAF Golden League Memorial Van Damme athletics meeting in Brussels September 4, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Sebastien Pirlet

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KINGSTON (Reuters) - Jamaica will grant diplomatic privileges to triple Olympic and world champion sprinter Usain Bolt and name a highway after him, Prime Minister Bruce Golding said on Tuesday.

Golding said Bolt's extraordinary performance for Jamaica had earned him the right to be called "ambassador" with full diplomatic privileges, including a diplomatic passport.

Highway 2000, linking several of the Caribbean island's key cities, will be renamed the Usain Bolt Highway and the runner will be given Jamaica's fourth highest national award, Golding announced in Parliament.

"I have advised the governor general to confer on Mr. Bolt the Order of Jamaica for his outstanding achievements for Jamaica at the highest level of athletic competition," Golding said.

Bolt, who smashed world records in the 100 meters in 9.58 seconds and the 200 meters in 19.19 seconds at the World Championship in Athletics in Berlin, Germany last month, returned to Jamaica on Monday after a grueling international season.

At 23, he will be the youngest recipient of the Order of Jamaica.

Bolt was involved in a car accident last April on the highway that will carry his name. He suffered minor injuries and his BMW was a write-off. No date for the name change was given.

(Reporting by Horace Helps; editing by Jim Loney and Bill Trott)

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