There will always be another. This is the eternal lesson of track and field. On a sweltering August night 12 years ago, Michael Johnson lashed the 200-meter world record to his back and seemed to drag it deep into the future. He ran 19.32 seconds, so fast that young men accepted that they would not see the record broken again in their lifetimes.
Usain Bolt was 9 years old on that night, growing up tall and skinny — “I was tall when I was little,” says Bolt — in Trelawny Parish on the north shore of Jamaica, an hour’s drive from the vacation resorts of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. He loved to play cricket with his friends, and if he was talented, he was also a little lazy.
But one afternoon two years later, he ran too fast at a school field day and found himself on the track team, because Jamaica will compel a sprinter to sprint. Somewhere a clock began ticking, counting down the life of Johnson’s record, unseen and unknown, but inexorable.
At the age of 12, Bolt ran 52 seconds flat for 400 meters on a grass track in Manchester, Jamaica. He won the world junior 400-meter title at age 16, beating athletes who were four years older. He was impossibly precocious. “We knew what was coming,” said Bert Cameron, a Jamaican national coach who was also the 400-meter world champion in 1983.
On Wednesday night in the Olympic Stadium called the Bird’s Nest, Bolt ran 19.30 seconds to take down Johnson’s world record.
Great article in SI.
Bolt will be hot favourite to make it a golden sprint double at the Olympics Games in Beijing after cruising into the 200m final.
After winning the 100m in a world record 9.69 seconds, he jogged next to rival Shawn Crawford in the last 60m to win his semi-final in 20.09 secs.
I think Bolt should run ‘through’ the line this time without celebrating during his race. You know what they say, ‘pride comes before a fall.’
I would hate to see Bolt trip over because he is trying to watch himself on the big screen while running…
I say go for the record – smash it – set a record that will never be beaten!
Current 200m WR holder, Johnson said “I’m ready to kiss it goodbye … if he keeps on doing what he’s doing.”
See 200m videos of Bolt and Johnson here.
The limits of prediction.
Great Britain’s heptathlete comes fifth.
I am no expert on lie detectors but what if someone genuinely believes something which is wrong?
I am sure many politicians would be found to be telling the ‘truth’ but this is different as we have seen from being ‘right.’
See Sotherton polygraph test here.
Great video – your chance to beat the world’s fastest man….be sure to share it!
He is a funny guy…
More ‘Chasing Bolt’ on YouTube.
An incredible margin of victory for this incredible runner. Will anyone go faster?!
Not long ago, it was thought a time like this would not be possible – athletes had reached their peak with modern science and training programmes.
True – but you can never underestimate ‘natural talent’ the gift with which an individual is born. Science and coaches can only work with what they have got.
Will anyone run sub 9.0 in time?
Watch video here on BBC player.
BEIJING — Distance runner Adam Goucher always imagined cheering on his wife, Kara, here at these Olympics. But in his dreams she always returned the favor.
In a reversal of fortune, however, former Olympian Adam is relegated to the stands while Kara — who has competed in his shadow for years — chases Olympic glory.
Athletes marry each other for the same reason other professionals often do: They spend a lot of time together. Even on the U.S. track and field team, there are at least two other married couples besides the Gouchers.
On occasion, both spouses excel. In 1952, Czechoslovakian runner Emil Zápotek and his wife both earned gold medals. He placed first in the men’s 5,000-meters, the 10,000 meters and the marathon; his wife won the women’s javelin.
Read full article in the WSJ.
Jamaicans have faced a lot of testing. In an event that has been plagued by drugs, most famously with Ben Johnson in 1988 it is good to see this being taken seriously. Knowing that the world’s fastest man is so through natural ability will be something to behold…
A top Jamaican Olympic team official complained Wednesday that unusually frequent anti-doping tests are upsetting preparations by his nation’s sprinters ahead of Friday’s opening races.
“We have never seen this level of testing,” Don Anderson, Jamaica’s delegation head, said in a telephone interview one day after men’s 100-meter gold medal contender Asafa Powell complained he has been excessively tested. “It could affect the performance of our athletes.”
Over the past seven days, Anderson said, Jamaicans have been tested 32 times.
Repeated testing has distracted the runners, and gotten on their nerves, he said – even if it probably presents no immediate medical issue.
“They get taken away during training or they are taken from the restaurant,” he said.
Powell, who is part of a voluntary anti-doping program, said Tuesday that the number of tests upset him.
“They took blood – a lot of blood,” said Powell, adding he has been tested four times.
More in Sports Illustrated.