Giant on the move
Usain Bolt of Jamaica won the Olympic 100 metres on Saturday, shattering the world record in the process with a time of 9.69 seconds.
Bolt thumped his chest in celebration as he crossed the line, after leaving Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago (silver) and American Walter Dix (bronze) trailing at the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
Asafa Powell finished out of the medals, while Tyson Gay was eliminated in the semi-finals.
Bolt had looked capable of running an extremely fast time as he ambled through the heats and so it proved in Beijing on Saturday as he pulled off a win that will live long in the memory.
Michael Phelps made it six golds in six races to edge closer to the record of Mark Spitz, while the three fastest men in the world whetted the appetites of 90,000 fans at the Bird’s Nest as swimming and athletics vied for attention on Friday.
Phelps was untroubled in the men’s 200 metres individual medley, moving to within one win of Spitz’s record from the 1972 Games.
Until today I would not have thought it possible that somebody could amble 100 metres in 9.92 seconds but that is what Usain Bolt did in his second heat of the event on the first day of athletics action in the Bird’s Nest.
The gods had been kind and produced a clear-skied day hot day with minimum breeze and Bolt enjoyed his time in the sun.
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.
There was a classic moment at a media conference with 100 metres world record holder Usain Bolt today. Bolt’s coach told Reuters last week that the Jamaican would run the 100m as well as the 200m but he seemed unaware of the fact on Tuesday.
“I still have to decide,” he said, before being informed of his coach’s comment.
Russell Boyce writes: Great contacts and hard work led to Reuters News Pictures photographer Hans Deryk getting exclusive pictures of Usain Bolt, the 100m world record holder at the National Stadium.
The simple picture of Bolt posing with the specially made gold running shoes that he will wear when he aims for Olympic gold are a perfect blend of a sports news value with timing and place. After all, how much better could it get: the fastest man, being seen for the first time at the venue with is new running shoes.
The big race is on for Beijing, after Usain Bolt’s coach confirmed to Reuters that the Jamaican 100 metres world record holder would run both the 100 and 200 metres at the Beijing Olympics.