Beijing Diary, August 16, 2008, Usain Bolt Runs 9.69 WR, Wins Olympic Gold, Fastest Man Ever, by Larry Eder


When Usain Bolt came out of the blocks in New York on May 31, I was shocked to see his speed and just physicality as he drove to the 9.72 world record. Everyone else was standing still. Well, I have seen the future of the 100 meters, and it is Usain Bolt......

After just witnessing the Olympic 100 meter final, if I was a sprinter, I might just consider another profession, perhaps swimming?

First, remember, dear readers that we are part of a sport. An in true sport, it is all about the competition. In a race that was as telling of his talent and shows that it is not the number of medals one has but the quality of the effort one expends, Usain Bolt has set a new world record of 9.69 for 100 meters and totally dominated an Olympic race like no one I have ever seen before.

The scary thing was, Bolt's start was less than spectacular. Darvis Patton, who ended up eighth in 10.03, had the fastest start in lane two. Usain Bolt came up and just started blazing down the track. By fifty meters, he was in front, with Richard Thompson and Walter Dix in tow.

Now the really crazy thing happened. At seventy meters, in absolute full sprint, Usain Bolt started looking around the track, opening his arms by ninety meters and he hit the tape in 9.69 ! Nine point six nine! A new world record and a new Olympic record!

In second was Richard Thompson of Trinidad in 9.89 for a personal best. Walter Dix of the US, in his first meet as a professional athlete, took care of business here, running very well and leaning perfectly, running 9.91 for a personal best for third. IN fourth Martina Chruandy of Netherland Antilles again ran a national record, running 9.93!

Asafa Powell, four time world record holder, ran a good race, but in this race, good was just not good enough, and he was relegated to fifth here, in 9.95. Jamaica's Michael Frater ran a personal best for sixth, running 9.97. In seventh, Marc Burns of Trinidad ran 10.01 and Darvis Patton of the US ran 10.03 for eighth place.

How good was this field? This was a field where all of the real players had a chance to make the final. The only one missing was Tyson Gay, who had been eliminated in the
semi final.

In my mind, the only thing that could have stopped Usain Bolt today was a brick wall. He was unbeatable. His form, all six foot five of it, just opened up and the race was literally over for him after 80 meters, as his arms went out and he still ran 9.69!

Beating the field by two tenths of a second? In a race where no one was giving any quarter, and Richard Thompson and Walter Dix were sprinting the best of their lives, Usain Bolt had that much more!

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