Lightning Bolt leaves all his rivals thunderstruck
ATHLETICS:CON HOULIHAN always said there were no tactics in the 100 metres. Only that tactic we’d all use to run away from a bull.
Usain Bolt had to run away from six bulls and a beast in London last night, and still got away easy, still with something to spare, still the undisputed fastest man on earth.
In the end all Bolt had to do was to get up, stand up, and run – a legend, in the true Bob Marley sense, and still far from done yet.
Helped on by just a little wind in his back, and the pressure perhaps of his latest Jamaican rival Yohan Blake, Bolt improved his Olympic record to 9.63 seconds, now only his own world record of 9.58 still faster, and so better than the 9.69 he produced in Beijing four years ago.
“Yeah, very, very happy,” said Bolt, after eventually slowing down, completing a typically entertaining dancing lap of honour, and finally giving some due respect to Wenlock, the sadly forlorn Olympic mascot. Who else but Bolt could make the one-eyed man seem so cool?
“I knew from the moment I got the first round out of the way I could do this,” he added, and truth is there were no doubts on the night.
It wasn’t his best start, but when Bolt hit the front at 50 metres it was game and race over: he never looked back, only briefly down at the clock as he dipped towards the line.
It wasn’t quite the iconic moment of four years ago either, when Bolt dropped his arms, pulled his shoulders back, and began thumping his chest several metres before the line: he had to work hard for this one, on each of the 41 strides. There could be no slowing down, not with the six bulls and the beast coming up behind him – starting with Blake, the man actually better known now as “The Beast”.
“Yeah, I was still a little worried about my start,” added Bolt, “because I definitely didn’t want to false start. So maybe I sat back a little, and maybe it wasn’t the best reaction of the lot.
“But I didn’t worry about that. That’s what my coach kept telling me, not to worry because the best part of my race is at the end. That’s where I rule, and that’s where I execute. And it worked.”
To those who doubted him, although he said himself he was probably only running at about 95 per cent this season, he could only smile that big toothy grin: “Look, it’s alright for me because I will always do the important talking on the track. There was no doubt in my mind coming here, and I knew with the energy, the noise, I could do it. I know I have a great talent, and for me it’s just about doing the business on the night.”
Blake however was perfectly content with his silver, his time of 9.75 seconds equalling his personal best, and forcing him to stretch every inch of the way too. Blake may have beaten Bolt twice in the Jamaican Trials just over a month ago, but this time never even looked close to winning.