More Bolt

The race in Berlin was different because Bolt had a worthy challenger, a defending world champion who ran like one and would have been able to repeat were he not running against a superstar for the ages. And yet the outcome was never in doubt. “I got a good start,” said Bolt. “Then I got into my drive phase and after 50 meters I knew I was in good shape.”

Sports Illustrated, on the race and after. In passing, Carl Lewis’ doubts must have been underlined even further now, no? Clip from an interview a year ago:

I’m still working with the fact that he dropped from 10-flat to 9.6 in one year. I think there are some issues. I’m proud of America right now because we have the best random and most comprehensive drug testing program. Countries like Jamaica do not have a random program, so they can go months without being tested. I’m not saying anyone is on anything, but everyone needs to be on a level playing field.

LA Times underlines the unbelievable nature of the achievement:

“He has taken not just this sport but sport in general to a new place,” said Ato Boldon, the four-time Olympic sprint medalist and NBC commentator.

“We have to rethink everything we know about human performance. I used to talk about times in the area of 9-low as some kind of unicorn-like fantasy, but he has made fantasy into reality.”

This was Bob Beamon breaking the long jump world record by more than two feet at the 1968 Olympics, Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in an NBA game, Michael Phelps winning his eighth gold medal — all feats that seemed practically impossible before they occurred.

As many expected, Bolt turned his much-hyped duel with Tyson Gay of the United States into a battle between one man and history, even though reigning world champion Gay ran an exceptional race to finish second in 9.71. That is the third-fastest time in history, beaten only by Bolt’s two world records.

Imagine the plight of a guy who runs the third fastest time in history — and is beaten by, what, 0.13 of a second? In the short sprint, that is an eternity.

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8 thoughts on “More Bolt

    • Yeah — and in that interview, says that was because of some OTC medication. Ah well. Either you enjoy their performances, or cynically suspect everything.

      Funnily enough, I enjoyed Marion Jones’ dream run when it was happening. And still think Ben Johnson’s run was among the most awesome sports spectacles I’ve seen — and that does not mean I condone drugs. 🙂

      • I do not get it. Are the tests so long winded that an athlete gets caught only after he/she has retired? If so, how was Ben Johnson so quickly apprehended? Extremely fishy going ons.

        • In Jones’ case it was an investigation – the whole BALCO thing – that led to her confession and as far as I can remember no drug test failed in her case.

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