Tue, November 03, 2009
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Usain Bolt adopts Kenyan "Lightning Bolt"

2009-11-03 06:03:04 GMT2009-11-03 14:03:04 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

World and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt feeds a cheetah cub with a bottle at the headquarters of the Kenyan Wildlife Service in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on Nov. 2, 2009. The triple Olympic and world sprint champion in both the 100 and 200 metres events arrived in the land of long-distance running on Oct. 30, ahead of the launch of an environmental charity campaign to preserve local ecosystems. (Xinhua Photo)

World and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt feeds a cheetah cub with a bottle at the headquarters of the Kenyan Wildlife Service in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, on Nov. 2, 2009. The triple Olympic and world sprint champion in both the 100 and 200 metres events arrived in the land of long-distance running on Oct. 30, ahead of the launch of an environmental charity campaign to preserve local ecosystems. (Xinhua Photo)

NAIROBI, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- World's fastest man met the fastest animal on earth in a rare encounter in the African wild that culminated with the adoption of the African "Lightning Bolt" -- Kenyan cheetah.

Double world record holder Usain Bolt met his match at the Nairobi National Park on Monday where the cheetah cub, aptly named "Lightning Bolt", had been taken for custody after its mother abandoned it three months ago.

On full flight, the cheetah can cruise at a maximum speed of 112kph. Bolt held the frightened cub on his shoulders, fed it fresh milk from a bottle and declared his infectious smile in place.

"The cheetah has now become my good friend. Initially I was scared of them but I have now overcome the fear," the Jamaican sprinter said in Nairobi.

The Kenyan government promptly awarded him a Certificate of Adoption at the function attended by Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Kenya has about 800 cheetahs that the government has marked as endangered species.

Bolt has spent four eventful days in Kenya where he has been on charity tour of conservation matters through Zeitz Foundation -- the brainchild of Jochem Zeitz who is CEO of the sportswear that sponsors him Puma.

Earlier, Bolt was hosted by President Mwai Kibaki and Premier Odinga. On both occasions he showed the "Lightning Bolt" when he was asked to display his trademark pose.

The Jamaican sprinter has attained iconic status in Kenya that has surpassed that of local athletes.

There is no doubt that his visit to the country will reverberate among his fans for a long time to come.

Most Kenyans will henceforth follow his progress in the sprints that he promised to dominate for the next ten years.

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