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Tough Jamaican district erupts in joy for Fraser

Aug. 17, 2008, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) People danced in the streets Sunday in Shelly-Ann Fraser's rough Kingston neighborhood to celebrate her Olympic gold-medal in the 100-meter dash.

Fraser's uncle, Kirk Simpson, surrounded by well-wishers at Fraser's home in the Waterhouse district, said her victory had united a neighborhood long notorious for gang violence in a country with one of the highest homicide rates in the world.

"I've never seen anything like this before. It's a good thing for the community," Simpson said.

The streets erupted in joyous chaos. People banged pots together and waved Jamaican flags.

"Me feel overjoyed, none of me pot have any cover 'cause me a celebrate," said 20 year-old Kenroy Batten, a former schoolmate of Fraser, speaking in the country's patois.

A family friend, 47-year-old Marjorie Powell, was dressed in the green, gold and black of the Jamaican flag as she called Fraser's win a proud moment for the island nation.

"I knew she was going to win," she said.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding also praised Fraser and the two Jamaican women who trailed her in the 100-meter race. Kerron Stewart and Sherone Simpson tied for second with 10.98.

The race followed Jamaican Usain Bolt's world record of 9.69 in the men's 100-meter on Saturday.