August 16, 2008

Lightning Bolt

Twenty meters from the finish line, his celebration began. He relaxed his arms, looked toward the crowd and slapped his chest. And despite those theatrics, he still covered 100 meters faster than any man ever has.
Little wonder then that Usain Bolt is celebrating his country's first ever gold medal.

He was dancing before the race even began.

Shimmying in front of the starting blocks, Bolt struck a pose during pre-race introductions as if the race was over before it started. Turns out it was, and Bolt had post-race entertainment planned for the enthralled sellout crowd of 91,000.

It took him fewer than 10 seconds to run 100 meters but at least 10 minutes to complete his victory lap. He pulled off his gold spikes and held them aloft, wrapped himself in a Jamaican flag and clowned as if he were on stage at a karaoke bar rather than on the biggest stage of the Olympics.

“I like to have fun,’’ he explained.

Munching on a post-race snack during a press conference, Bolt said there would be plenty of time to test his limits and lower the world record. That’s the most mind-boggling part about it – what might come next.

And here is what he had to say when asked how fast he could have run if he had not eased up:
“I didn’t come here to run the world record because I am the world-record holder,’’ he said. “I came here to win.’’
Yah maaan! Came here for the gold. Got the gold. And how!

Unfortunately, thanks to an email from a friend, I knew the result of the 100m finals before I just saw it on NBC.
I had seen Bolt bolt ahead of every one in the heat yesterday, casually looking right-and-left as he relaxed after the first 60m or so and easily winding up first. Unbelievable that he relaxes once again with 15-20m to go and yet beats the world record again -- finishing at an unbelievably fast 9.69, with the silver and bronze medalists coming way behind at 9.89 and 9.91! This has to be the most dominating 100m run in years and should make the updated list of the top 50 greatest Olympic moments along with a few of Phelps's races!

I can't wait for the 200m finals now.
Here's Bolt in the 200m earlier this year - the lead he has on others is almost as good as Johnson's 200m in 1996. And though NBC won't make available the 100m finals from Beijing any time soon, you can see Bolt setting the 100m record in May this year.

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