A Bolt from the blue. Sort of
I knew it. At the time I remember thinking he looked a little off the pace, a little tired. He certainly didn’t look on form.
As Usain Bolt said himself after struggling to break the 200m world record in Berlin on Thursday night: “I can definitely say I didn’t expect that because I was a little bit tired. My form was going backwards. It wasn’t a good race but it was a fast one.
“Not mentally, physically it was harder because I wasn’t in the best of shape. I just want to go home and sleep.”
You imagine if Bolt was sleep walking he’d still run quicker than the rest of the field, who fell behind the Jamaican within three strides of the gun in the sprint final and eventually slipped more than half a second adrift at the tape.
And the 200m was almost a contest compared to the weekend’s 100m, in which Bolt took his previous record apart.
I remember seeing Carl Lewis, Franky Fredericks, Maurice Greene, Ato Boldon all slowly chip hundredths away at breaking 10 seconds.
On Sunday Bolt crossed the line in 9.54 seconds. Incredible.
It’s worth remembering Michael Johnson’s world mark in the 200 – 19.32s set at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 – was seen as a record that would take something special to beat. Bolt is definitely that– and he only turned 23 today. As I put in a recent tweet, they probably need a test for whether he’s human or not.
“It definitely means a lot because I showed people that last year wasn’t a joke,” said Bolt, after his World Championship sprint double. “I went through some problems this season but I came out here and showed the world what is possible.
“If Queen Elizabeth knighted me would I get the title 'Sir Usain Bolt?' That sounds very nice.”
Wouldn’t it just. At least he has his place cemented in sporting royalty. The man is a legend in our own lifetime, and we’re the ones who get to see him in action.
posted on 21 August 2009 11:37 byMichael Bailey - Sportsdesk