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
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.
After the shock of Liu Xiang’s departure from the Games through injury, fans in the Bird’s Nest were given a golden moment to compensate at least slightly, as the peerless Yelena Isinbayeva broke her own world record in the pole vault.
The Russian made sure of the gold medal with just two jumps before returning to have a crack at raising her own best mark. After missing twice, she cleared 5.05 metres at the third attempt — with plenty to spare, it must be said.
There was never any doubt about this one. Michael Phelps won the 200m freestyle, secured his third gold medal of these Games — his third world record, too — and become only the fifth athlete to win nine gold medals at the Summer Olympics.
He joins fellow Americans Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis, Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi and Soviet gymnast Larysa Latynina at the top of the all-time list of gold medal winners.