Saturday, 16 August, 2008

The Thunder Bolt

"As soon as I saw I had covered the field and I knew I would win, I was very happy and I started to celebrate."

- Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth

A 6'5" athlete + 40 strides + 9.69s + celebrations before crossing finish line = World Record :) :)

Let s face it, the Beijing 2008 Olympics 100m dash was one of the most anticipated event of the tournament, and it did indeed prove to be one of the greatest displays of athleticism in modern times. While it was widely expected to be a 3- horse race, I doubt if any horse can outsprint the champion Usain Bolt, given his electrifying form. Tyson Gay, the reigning world champion, wasn't even in the final,due to that unfortunate hamstring injury he sustained some 6 weeks ago, despite which he clocked impressive 10.05. But that was not enough. Some 30 to 40 of us in the hostel crowded around the prehistoric television set in our block to catch the action live.

As the cameras moved across the 8 athletes gunning for the 100m gold, all eyes were on the boys from Jamaica - Asafa "The Choker" Powell and Usain "The Thunder" Bolt (terror nicknames :P, yes I have been unkind to Asafa, but he does choke at the big stage.There was another Jamaican- Michael Frater,in the starting block too). As the men started off, Bolt, in lane 7, appeared to slip slightly. For the first 40 or so meters, it was a hard race to call. But after that, came the lightning surge from bolt, as he almost waltzed past opponents,his lanky frame making graceful strides down the track. As he neared the finish line, he looked sideways, and followed it up with quite an audacious finish, arms flayed wide as if sayin- "Am I the only one running, here?" , and then thumping his chest even before he crossed the finish line.

"As soon as I saw I had covered the field and I knew I would win, I was very happy and I started to celebrate."
-the champion explaining the reason behind his early celebration

The amazing thing is, he broke his own world record(with 0.0 wind assist) despite obviously slowing down (he did this during the heats and the semis too), as if saving his best for bigger races. He could have easily broken into the 9.5 something zone, which has never been done before. One more interesting fact is that his left shoelace was untied when he crossed the finish line,believe it or not :) .

Take a closer look at the left shoe lace :). It's dangling.

Let us not forget the fact that there were 7 other athletes giving their all. Richard Thomson,of Trinidad and Tobaggo, the NCAA 2007 indoor 60m champion achieved his personal best of 9.89s (.2 behind Bolt!!), which is not too bad a time (considering Carl Lewis' one time 100m record of 9.92) and Walter Dix of the United states,the 2007 NCAA 100m champion had to come up with his best performance too, to bag the bronze clocking in at 9.91s . Asafa Powell could only manage a 5th spot with his 9.95s effort, while compatriot Michael Frater clocked his personal best at 9.96 to finish 6th. It was also the first ever race in which 6 runners broke in to the 9 point something times. But the man of the hour was the 6'5" Bolt, who is pretty much the favorite to run away with the 200m crown as well.

So for those of you who missed the action live, check this out... Sorry about the quality. This was the best I could manage at the moment. And yeah, commentary is not in English either. Watch out for the tall guy in lane 4.


Shivram said...

hi dude!1.. Usain is in lane 3...

Deepak said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Insomniac said...

My sincere apologies da. You are right. It is not lane 7 but lane 4.