Broad Street came to a virtual standstill about 2:20 p.m. today with the eyes of expectant Barbadians fixed on Republic Bank in the City.
No loans at low interest rates were being given out, nor was there a campaign being waged to entice Barbadians in for credit cards.
Instead, the large screen at the top of the bank was their focus as the island’s former world champion over the 110 metres hurdles, Ryan Brathwaite, prepared to contest Heat 2 of his pet event at the London 2012 Olympics.
A hush came over the crowd at the race’s start but that quiet quickly erupted into boisterous acclaim as the pride of St. Andrew sped over the hurdles to the finish line behind winner American Aries Merritt to claim second position and a place in the finals of the event.
There were handshakes, screams of delight, back-slapping, honking of horns as the excited crowd dispersed hoping for the best later in the afternoon.
Two hours later, it was as though no one had moved, but the faces were different as a similarly large crowd stood eagerly staring once again at the bank.
It was time for the finals.
Again, there was a hush, then the growing din, followed quickly by collective groans of disappointment as the crowd’s hometown boy again crossed the line behind the winner Aries Merritt. But this time, there were three others between Brathwaite and Merritt.
As quickly as they had gathered, the crowd dispersed to carry out their individual post mortem on what could have been.