Giant on the move
OK, it’s not Michael Phelps territory, but Usain Bolt clinched his third gold medal and third world record from three events when Jamaica won the 4x100m relay on Friday.
Bolt teamed up with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell to clock a time of 37.10 seconds and take 0.30 seconds off the 15-year-old record set by the United States at the 1993 world championships.
There was disappointment for Jamaica, however, when their women’s relay team were disqualified for messing up the second changeover between Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart.
Still, five out of six ain’t bad.
PHOTO: Usain Bolt of Jamaica (back) urges on his team mate Asafa Powell during their men’s 4 x 100m relay final of the athletics competition in the National Stadium at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games August 22, 2008. REUTERS/David Gray
While speedsters from other nations have looked tense on the track at the Bird’s Nest, Usain Bolt and the women who swept the medals in the 100 metres have clearly been enjoying themselves.
Congratulations to Jamaica for completing a clean sweep in the men’s and women’s sprints at the Beijing Games on Thursday.
Veronica Campbell-Brown surged to 200 metres victory on Thursday, making it four golds from the four individual events and shutting out the U.S. for the first time since they boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980.
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt completed a breathtaking sprint double at the Beijing Games on Wednesday, breaking the 200 metres world record that many had thought unbreakable to take his second Olympic gold medal.
The contrast between this and his winning run in the 100 could hardly have been more marked, as this time he gave it everything he had to go under the old best mark, Michael Johnson’s 19.32, by two hundredths of a second.
Usain Bolt’s 100m triumph at the Bird’s Nest will surely be one of those sporting moments that stay in the collective memory for decades.
As anyone who was there, or who saw the TV pictures, will attest, Bolt could have put in an even quicker time than his new world record of 9.69 seconds, had he not started celebrating with 20 metres to go (it’s down to yam power, according to his family).
My colleague Balazs Koranyi blogged yesterday about how hard it is for athletes in the build-up to the Games, when their preparations are pretty much complete and there’s too much sit and think.
Well, maybe not every athlete. The Jamaican track and field team had no qualms about letting their hair down and showing off their considerable assets at a pre-Games party this week.