Saturday, August 16, 2008

Usain-ity ! Bolt-ing Jamaican Shatters 100m Record In A Stroll !

WOW ! What can you say ? There are simply not enough superlatives to describe Usain Bolt's performance in the 100m Mens Final !

He absolutely destroyed the field. So far in front he was that over the last 15m he slowed - noticeably - yet still obliterated his own World Record.

Bolt stolled across the finish line 9.69 seconds after the starters gun popped and probably would have run 9.50 or better if he had actually ran the race through. Simply amazing.

If there was anything that could steal Michael Phelps' thunder (lightning?) at these games, it was this run by Bolt. Sure, Phelps is going to be the overall story of these games, but Bolt has given us Beijing's biggest individual highlight. WOW WOW WOW !

In the primest of prime-times, Bolt elevated the race to its deserved platform as the final event of the evening. The last event on the middle Saturday night should always be the most prestigious, the one everyone wants to see, the one everyone hopes for an astonoshing moment to be able to talk about forever.

The near 100,000 spectators in Beijing's birds nest stadium took home an Olympic memory more special than most tonight, though one has to wonder how long it will be before Bolt lowers the mark he set here and makes a mockery of this incredible run ?

So magical was this, that it is almost irrelevant as to who picked up the Silver and Bronze medals. It may aswell have been me. It wasn't but the two plodders were Richard Thompson (9.89) of Trinidad and Tobago followed by Walter Dix (9.91) of the USA.

For any spectator who endured the countless other events leading up to this one won't be disappointed to have stuck it out. I just hope that nobody in the crowd decided to nip off early to try to beat the traffic home. This wasn't man landing on the moon tonight - No, it was much, much bigger !

There hadn't been a World Record run at this event in an Olympic Games since Donovan Bailey ran 9.84 at Atlanta in '96.

On the grandest of all stages though, Bolt returned the initials WR next to the numbers 9.69 and now everything feels right again. This is one event that should always have its top speed run at an Olympic meet.

Never before has the winner of this race been so laughably ahead that he has actually had time to begin his celebration 15 metres out. When he knew he was home, he spread his arms out as if to say 'how easy is this ?'.

And then there are two scary side notes to add to tonight. Firstly, this isn't supposed to Bolt's pet event. His preferred event is the 200m and on tonight's evidence when he runs that on Wednesday night, he will shatter the current record of 19.32, set by Michael Johnson also in Atlanta.

Secondly, Bolt has a reputation for being a bit of a party boy, someone who still needs to work on his preparation and professionalism. So, technically he's run 9.69 and still has to knuckle down and get serious about his running !

When the other competitors were being introduced tonight, Bolt seemed oblivious to the stage he was on, almost bored at having to wait so long for his race to begin.

The other runners though, Asafa Powell in particular, looked tense and nervous - the way most people would be with eyes of the world upon them, moments before the biggest event of their lives.

Bolt started out as he always does, hunched over before opening up and unwrapping a perfect running machine.

His long-ranging, leaping paces go against the traditional style often seen from sprinters.

The image of nuggety, muscly men, with tight, compactly built bodies right now seems as old fashioned as VCR's. Instead, Bolt is long and lanky and runs like a Gazelle and his legs barely touch the running tracks' surface.

Bolt's annihilation of the field over shadowed the fact that America's Tyson Gay had failed to even make the final. That and Bolt's fellow countrymen, Asafa Powell who fell apart in the final and never threatened before eventually finishing in fifth place.

After the race, Bolt celebrated like a happy kid. Kisses were being sent into the crowd while his opponents were still sorting out the minor placings.

Bolt found his family and friends in the crowd who were wiping away tears. There was a group hug before Bolt nonchalontley draped himself proudly in the Jamaican flag, took his shoes off - saving a special kiss for them - and began doing what he does best - Enjoying himself !

Usain Bolt is from a country that never needs much of a reason to throw a party and now he has given Jamaica a legitimate excuse to celebrate. If he parties anything like the way he sprints, then it will be one helluva bash !

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