August 18th, 2009
05:06 PM ET

Lightning will strike again ... and soon

“I’m really happy that Usain broke the record.” Huh? Those, surprisingly, were the words of United States sprinter Tyson Gay after he, and the rest of us, watched the Jamaican smash another 100-meters world record at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

The man, the legend, Jamaica's Usain Bolt.
The man, the legend, Jamaica's Usain Bolt.

O.K. let’s add some context to Gay’s comment. The American had a front row seat to history in the German capital as he finished runner-up to Bolt in the “world’s” marquee race. While battling through the pain of a groin injury, Gay still blazed a personal best and U.S. record time of 9.71 seconds. This, of course, paled in comparison to Bolt’s lightning-fast winning time of 9.58 seconds. Gay, the second fastest human on the planet, told reporters: “I knew it was humanly possible for someone to run that fast. Unfortunately, it wasn’t me.”

What Bolt is doing is something we might not see achieved on the track for a long, long time to come, if ever. The Jamaican is pushing the limits of the human body and he appears to be doing it with the greatest of ease.

After twice interviewing the 22-year-old during last year’s Olympic Games in Beijing, there are a couple of traits that I believe contribute to his continued success. First, Bolt is lanky - 6 feet, 5 inches tall to be exact (1.9558 meters). Long legs create quite an advantage when a sprinter strides down the track.

Bolt is also one of the most laid back individuals that you’ll ever meet. Youthful exuberance when competing in the high-pressure world of athletics goes a long way in remaining cool while the heat is on. Bolt has this happy-go-lucky personality synonymous with someone raised in the Caribbean. In fact, he does care very much about what he’s doing and wants to be known someday as a living legend. Many think that he’s already achieved that goal but Bolt disagrees. Speaking in Berlin after once again doing the amazing in the 100, the sprinter said that he doesn’t think he can reach legendary status in just two seasons of glory. He said that it comes with being consistent year in and year out and with hard work.

So, how low can he go? Perhaps the best is yet to come. Bolt is on record as saying that he thinks he can take the 100-meters world record down to 9.4 seconds. Put me in the category of believers!

It may sound hard to believe but Bolt says that he doesn’t run for world records, he just keeps on working. Well, what he’s doing IS working and we are all benefiting from it as fans of athletics.

Sure, he’s not the most humble of characters, what with his trademark “lightning bolt” stance and his playful antics toward the track side television cameras. But, Bolt is hard not to like. What he’s done over the past couple of years is bring much needed personality to a sport that has lacked it of late. Couple his playful nature with his uncanny ability to wipe out world records in 30-something steps and the sky is the limit for Usain Bolt who, like lightning, will strike again very soon.

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Filed under:  Athletics
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. maiga

    wah! incredible!

    August 18, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  2. NSWMA YOUTH

    Lightning will strike again in the 200m in Berlin

    August 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  3. Peggy McDonald

    As Caribbean people we are extremely proud of the accomplishments of Usain Bolt. He exemplifies the result of great discipline, hard work, committment to excellence and a determination not to allow others to define what he can achieve. The sky is the limit and he intends to touch the stars.

    August 19, 2009 at 2:21 am | Reply
  4. Vernon

    Hes easily the greatest sprinter the world has ever seen and at 22 years old, he will be around for sometime yet.

    He along with Sheely Ann Fraser have shown the world that Jamaica is now the sprint capital of the World

    August 19, 2009 at 10:58 am | Reply
  5. Michael Collins

    That was awesome. am luck i have lived in this times when such speeds are being made and not read about it in history.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  6. Steve Gitau

    Fantastic Bolt!
    That kind of speed can only be found in McLaren Mercedes! We look forward to more and more!

    August 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  7. Bombo

    Big up to all the Jamaican Sprinters...I am very proud.....

    August 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  8. Bhaskar

    He can run faster in Mars/Moon if we ever settled there.

    August 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  9. zedo

    once usain stays fit MUCH MORE is possible; keep in mind the average age of male sprint world and olympic champions plus world record holders is 25-27 yrs. of age.......the typical peak of one's career..;USAIN IS NOT YET 23!

    August 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  10. Nikuma

    Truly amazing! I only wish I had front row seats to just one of his world record breaking events, but truth be told, I'm happy to be alive to see this happen. The lesson this teaches me is that "TRULY" with hard work, determination, practise and belief in God and what he can do through me – in the words of Marcus Garvey , "the sky is the limit and eternity our measurement".

    August 19, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  11. Jasmine

    Keep our Jamaican flags flying high!! Our hard work is finally starting to pay off.

    August 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  12. Dj Francois

    I hope seeing him exploding the 200m world record

    August 19, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  13. GQ

    Every time Tyson Gay has an excuse... The man is healthy as an horse, nothing wrong with him. I strongly believe that Bolt can run 9.4x if he wants, no doubt about that. Tyson Gay, get over it.

    P.S. big up Michael Johnson

    August 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  14. Tanisha

    Great job!!! As a Jamaican, I am extremely proud of all the Jamaican athletes and the trail they are blazing in Berlin.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  15. Lerna

    I'm awed but nut surprised. The resilience and hard work of a of this young man exemplifies the spirt and fortitude of what is is to be a Jamaican.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  16. waytoosmootheforyou

    Jamaica is truly the jewel of the Caribbean, yet another reason to be proud to be Jamaican

    August 19, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  17. Stanley

    That was one of the greatest races I have ever seen and would not be erased from my mind during my time hereon earth. Keep going Usain. Do the double, and let the Americans keep wagging their heads....

    August 20, 2009 at 12:38 am | Reply
  18. Sonia Gakuru

    There are no excuses, Usain Bolt works hard and we all get to see & enjoy the results. That said, I love the fact that he is a Jamaican & he is doing brilliant things on the track!

    Gay try & keep up!!!

    August 20, 2009 at 7:06 am | Reply
  19. dj larry

    thats what happen when you work hard and put your mine and body into it ,and they say lighting never strok twice

    August 20, 2009 at 10:24 am | Reply
  20. Ray Samson

    This guy Bolt is the best I have ever seen and this was the greatest of all 100m dash ever, keep it up Bolt

    August 20, 2009 at 11:58 am | Reply
  21. akugbe-myers

    in a nigerian mannerism,i say usain u 2 much,big ups

    August 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  22. George magai

    Usain Bolt is immortal,he is the new breeb of human biengs,Go Bolt Go!! show me what else you are capable of,and guys i think this is just the begining of more records to come expect one sooner han soon.

    August 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  23. SalishaH

    am so tired of hearing American’s come up with some excuse why some other person beat them at something. Tyson Gay now claims that he had a groin injury. next time he will pull up half way down the track and say he pull a muscle. If you get beat you get beat, get over it and stop making excuses, if you have an injury you should not be running in the first place. Condratulations Usain, destroy them in the 200m

    August 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  24. Wayne Gordon

    Usain and the other Jamaican Athletes have shown what can be acheived when natural talent is combined with hard work.The Jamaican success is a result of nuturning athletes from the kinder Garden school level through to professional level. As jamaicans we can acheive anything we strive for. I am proud to be Jamaican.

    August 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  25. Maureen Callender

    As a carribbean person i am really happy for Usain Bolt as my son calls him bolt of lightening.i know he can run 9.4 and i know he is going to break his 200 record.he is a young person and he believe in god ,to Usain be the best that you can be and continue to strive for excellence,

    August 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  26. Scott

    I am an US citizen and love what Bolt is doing for the sport. I am tired of hearing talk of drugs too! He has proved to be a champion at every level.

    August 20, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  27. Akinshe Gabriel

    I wish him the very best, but he should be very careful of those hungry lions that are willing to destroy anything for no reason

    August 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  28. makeda R

    Congrats Usain & all other Jamaican athletes.... You make us very proud back home....
    One Love Jamaica

    August 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  29. ForceOne

    19.19sec in the 200m........even more impressive.

    August 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  30. Orville

    We Jamaicans are very proud of our GOLDEN BOY. He is the new face of Track and Field. Orville Kingston

    August 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  31. Beverley Haase

    And we shall know them by their works. Big up to the Jamaican contingent.All Jamaicans are proud.

    August 20, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Reply
  32. Ramesch

    Bolt was a winner before he even left the blocks.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:56 am | Reply
  33. Deepak

    He has smashed the WR in 200 mts too..WOW!!!!!!Its sheer pleasure to watch him.

    August 21, 2009 at 3:47 am | Reply
  34. Tanya

    It's our time to shine, and I'm so proud to be a JAMAICAN!!!!!!!

    August 21, 2009 at 3:52 am | Reply
  35. Owii

    There is nothing this guy can n`t do in the name of sprints I believe this guy can go 9 seconds flat with the right challenger not Gay who has an excuse to give everytime he falters.

    August 21, 2009 at 7:24 am | Reply
  36. kaspar Oduro-Dankwah

    congrats supermanII, i'm short of words but all i can say is u r incredible and i feel lucky and proud to be around in these times of sprint greatness. hope to see you strike again. You are simply the greatest!!!!!

    August 21, 2009 at 7:32 am | Reply
  37. kingsley

    Please let us all stand up for the true champion!!! Bolt, you're simply incomparable. Make us happy some more.....

    August 21, 2009 at 11:21 am | Reply
  38. Carmen

    Congratulations Usain and Happy Birthday. You make all Jamaica proud. We look forward to your coming home. We love you.

    August 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  39. simon karamagi

    i love bolt and iam happy on wat is doing in sports. big up boy
    simon karamagi
    kampala uganda

    August 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  40. John mwangosi

    Bolt, you are great, I believe if you put all of it, 100m you can make it in 8.9 and 200m 18.8. keep it up.

    August 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  41. Lana

    The man is THE greatest athlete ever!!!! Deal with it, Americans. And stop complaining and being such sore losers!!!

    August 22, 2009 at 4:40 am | Reply
  42. John Mwangosi

    Today relay-100m x 4 , Bolt, I think Jamaica team can make it in 36.95.

    August 22, 2009 at 10:43 am | Reply
  43. Wole Emeya

    Superman, Flash Gordon, Lightning Bolt....I wonder if this man is human....9.4secs it's coming, i smell it and i feel it.

    August 22, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  44. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    The latest definition of sprint running comes from the peerless Bolt. Watch him sprinting and the young man defines it through his deeds. Congratulations.

    August 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  45. Bill Bartmann

    Excellent site, keep up the good work

    September 2, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Reply

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