August 14th, 2009
03:32 PM ET

Bolt the history maker

One year ago, I was witness to a number of incredible sporting achievements in the Chinese capital.

The opening week of the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing, belonged to Michael Phelps. The United States swimmer capturing our imaginations with his incredible, gold medal-winning performances in the pool.

Usain Bolt looks unstoppable ahead of this upcoming world athletics championships in Berlin.
Usain Bolt looks unstoppable ahead of this upcoming world athletics championships in Berlin.

If Phelps whet our collective appetites, then Usain Bolt delivered the dessert!

The Jamaican sprinter closed out the Beijing Games with a bang…three races, three world records, three Olympic gold medals.

A year later, at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Bolt is ready to defend his title as “World’s Fastest Man”. It is not likely that he will leave Germany disappointed.

Proclaiming that he is in the best shape of his life, defending world champion Tyson Gay is prepared to give Bolt the challenge that he never had in Beijing.

The anticipated Bolt-Gay Olympic showdown did not materialized after the American pulled a hamstring muscle in the U.S. Olympic trails. Berlin provides Gay a platform to show that he can give Bolt a “run for his money”.

The last time these two men met was in May 2008. It proved to be Bolt’s coming out party. While previously running in relative anonymity, Bolt burst onto the scene that night in New York with the first of his two world records in the 100-meters. Gay has been playing second fiddle ever since.

It would probably be for the good of athletics if Bolt had some real competition. Then again, don’t we wish that for other sports? Who has stepped up to tame Tiger Woods in golf? Why hasn’t anyone halted, or even slowed, the Roger Federer Express in men’s tennis?

Tyson Gay doesn’t sound intimated by Usain Bolt and he’s quick to give the Jamaican his “props”. But, until he proves otherwise, Gay will always have to hear that that he is a good but not a great sprinter.

Last month, before a meet in London, Bolt told a reporter that on his best day he doesn’t think that Gay can beat him. The Jamaican has had a number of “great” days over the past year. There’s no reason to believe that he won’t enjoy a satisfying stay in the German capital.

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Filed under:  Athletics
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Donleawin

    An excellent athlete, Usain Bolt has demonstrated competence and confidence that makes him unbeatable at this time. Quoting Assafa, "anybody can be beaten" and should that happen this weekend, Usain is man enough to come out a winner any way!!

    August 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  2. Donleawin

    BIG UP USAIN!!

    August 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  3. Val

    He did it in Beijing, we are looking for him to repeat it in Berlin.

    Good bless you bro

    August 14, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  4. Dumbo

    Gay is merely a good but not great sprinter? He is arguably one small rung below Bolt, the best sprinter in the world. And for the record, everyone has a bad day once in a while...

    August 15, 2009 at 10:15 am | Reply
  5. laurel

    I am a Jamaican writing from Canada. Anyone knows the results of Bolt Vs Gay in Berlin or am I ahead of myself. If so, what time is the race?

    August 15, 2009 at 10:54 am | Reply
  6. john dawson

    BEAUTIFUL ARTICLE ! I REALLY ENJOYED IT. THAT IS UNTILL THE PART ABOUT GREATNESS. ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE NUMBER ONE TO BE CONSIDERED GREAT. TIGER WOODS DOES NOT ALWAYS WIN, SO DOES THAT MAKE HIM LESS THAN GREAT ? MAY THE BEST MAN WIN ! NOT THE GREATEST.

    August 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  7. hParks

    bolt will win 3 for 3 (100, 200, 4×100)

    August 16, 2009 at 1:28 am | Reply
  8. dods

    There is absolutely no doubt that Bolt will get the gold medal.

    August 16, 2009 at 5:08 am | Reply
  9. OLASEINDE OLALEKAN EBUN

    am africa man as for i dont think anybody can beat bolt for now because its in good shape

    August 16, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  10. I. Rabinovitch

    Concerning your comment about competition for Roger Federer, hasn’t Nadal taken on that role? Until his injuries earlier this year, he not only slowed the Federer Express, he actually halted it. He was ranked number one in the world and was the favorite at every tournament he entered.

    August 16, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  11. George

    Bolt just sped off in berlin with 9.58 sec !! lightening mix with thunder !!

    August 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  12. Jannelle

    welll he proved ur point and them some.....party in Jamaica all nite .. con grats 2 asafa too

    August 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Reply
  13. Annastasia

    Bolt is the greatest "2 di wurld"

    August 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm | Reply
  14. steve

    Yes but in the other article on Bolt's WR of 9.58 it states "Bolt was clearly up out of the blocks before the starting gun - which under next year's new rules would have disqualified him automatically" Under the current rules the race would still have to be restarted anyway. You simply cant get away with it. No he wasn't out of the blocks early. Look up the reaction times on the IAAF results list. Bolt's was the second slowest at .146. The only person slower out of the blocks came last. Bolt's reaction was reasonable but for a WR rather sluggish. Ok. Just letting you know.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:02 am | Reply
  15. steve

    If the article was referring to the Semi Final then Bolt's reaction time of .135 is very good but if you check the IAAF results there are many other faster reaction times. Powell was faster in the Quarter Final. Still it shows Bolt can take another tenth of his 9.58 just from the start alone. Sure he will end up around 9.45 or something.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:13 am | Reply
  16. CASMIEL OSCAR AFUN

    Usain Bolt is just stupendous and unbelievable that is all l have to say , he is just out of this world.

    August 17, 2009 at 7:23 am | Reply
  17. akugbe-myers

    usain rules 9.58?i think this guy cud just run 8.sumthing?????he is d greatest ever.....

    August 17, 2009 at 10:30 am | Reply
  18. Dunga Tz

    Bolt is excellent in most aspects of a supersprinter. His physique, height gives him a bit of an advantage over the rest of the other sprinters. Moreover, his presence and winning has broken the monopoly of the US (American) athletes on the sport. My bet will be US has an already made challenger(s) for Bolt in the wings. That can only mean close competition between Bolt and the challengers.

    August 17, 2009 at 10:50 am | Reply
  19. moses bwengye

    Super human stunts?? I want to see the reaction of the scientists....could he have stretched his own human limits? Could he stretch them further?

    August 17, 2009 at 11:57 am | Reply
  20. Scherine

    one word.............unbelievable

    August 17, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  21. awesome person

    awesom

    August 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  22. MattInthehouse

    I watched the race live on cable....wow...this guy is unreal. He's on a different plateau.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  23. Matt

    Are you joking? Tyson Gay ran the 3rd fastest 100m dash (non-wind aided) of all time. He also ran sub 9.7 with a non-legal wind last year. There is only one person in the world who can beat him. He probably can't beat Usain Bolt, but second fastest man on the planet is a pretty nice quality to have. If you think Usain Bolt is great (which he definitely is), and Tyson Gay is only good, then you probably think Asafa Powell is OK.

    And you also mentioned Roger Federer being unstoppable. Who is Rafael Nadal? Until he hurt his knees and sat out a major tournament he was ranked #1 in the world ahead of Federer.

    August 17, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  24. jackson

    usain just bolt the world and i dont think any body in this plannet even the U.S.A can ever unlock it again from now till the next millenium.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:26 am | Reply
  25. Macko

    why did gay think he could have won ? Usain Bolt is here for a long time.
    ....BOLT TO THE WORLD...

    August 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  26. Shehug

    Wen i 1st saw Bolt in d heats at Beijin, i thought he was jogging yet d qualifying time suggest he wasnt.
    He seem to stroll effortlessly. Dat to me was d sign of greater things to come.
    He is still young & can set even greater records un imaginable. I b'liv 4 now he alone will d competing against himself. B'cos all others are just spectarors & may remain so 4 very long time to come.

    August 22, 2009 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  27. David Oxley

    Bolt is simply Excellence Personified !!! Congrats also to Ryan M. Brathwaite of Barbados for his great victory in the 110m hurdles. It was truly the most exciting finish of the World Championships. Barbados finally gets to hear it's National Anthem played on the World stage. Like Usain you have done your Caribbean country proud.

    August 22, 2009 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  28. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    History maker Usain Bolt continues to challenge fellow sprinters and sprint historians with his marvellous running. What a fine advertisement for sports !

    August 24, 2009 at 11:45 am | Reply
  29. NORRIE STANTON

    G/DAY TRACK FANS –

    I HAVE STILL TO HEAR FROM A TRACK COMMENTATOR WHAT
    THEY THINK USAIN BOLT DOES IN A 100M RACE -
    FROM THE BLOCKS THAT SETS HIM APART FROM THE OTHER
    TOP GUYS

    NORRIE STANTON

    March 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  30. RAS DENNIS

    Usain has been creating & breaking records since he was 15-y-o.
    he was 15-y-o when he became the world's youngest Junior Champion, and he ran a sub 20 second race when he was 17-y-o at 200m. So if all you folks were true Track & Field enthusiats, you wouldn't be too surprise at his exploits on the the tracks. To see his 15-y-o race, type Junior World Championship Games 2001 or 2002 and you will have the opportunity of seeing the YOUNG LEGEND in the making.

    March 15, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  31. Coach Rickerman

    Unbelievable can only begin to describe the combination of stride length and stride rate. Much more to come with the 400 meter going down soon!

    November 12, 2010 at 5:45 am | Reply

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