Bolt of Electricity in Track and Field
True to his name, Usain Bolt is a livewire athlete. The 27 year old Jamaican has been leading the pack in 100 and 200 meter events for the past 6 years. On an action-packed 15th day of the London Olympics on August 11, 2012, the sensational Usain Bolt collected his third Gold Medal. Running fourth with the baton, the Jamaican whizzed past the finish line in the 4 x 100 relay, with a new world record time of 36.84 seconds. Earlier on August 5 and August 9, 2012, Bolt had already emulated his 2008 Beijing Olympic victories in 100 and 200 meter sprints. In the prestigious 100 meter final, Bolt became only the second man in Olympic history, after Carl Lewis of the US, who had won gold medals in two successive Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988.
Usain Bolt was first noticed, 11 years ago, during the IAAF World Junior Championships, held in his hometown Kingston, Jamaica in the period between July 16-21, 2002. Though he was only a month short of his 16th birthday, he looked like an underfed and extremely skinny boy. It was as though, the organizers had made some error and a wrong person was running the final of the 200 meter event. Despite his comfortable victories in the heats earlier, Bolt’s personal looks did not inspire anyone, when he back-stretched his legs to settle on the blocks for the final sprint. But the way Bolt ran that day and finished as the winner, all shades of doubts evaporated. Despite his built, he had signaled his arrival on the international athletic scene.
In later years, however, Bolt was hit by hamstring injuries, which slowed him down. But despite injuries, he qualified for the final of the 200 meters of the 2005 IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Helsinki. Unfortunately, as the race neared the 150 meters mark, Bolt slowed down to finish last. The injurious Bolt was also to miss the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2006. But towards the end of 2006, he recovered enough to finish second in the 200 meters at the IAAF World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany.
2007, however, was the breakthrough year for Bolt. He first broke a 30 year old Jamaican 200 meter record with a timing of 19.75 seconds and then went to Osaka for the 2007 IAAF World Track & Field event. He came back from Japan with silver medals in 200 meters and 4 x 100 meter relay. Until this time, Bolt had never participated in any major 100 meter race. He was, therefore, only as popular as Carl Lewis or Michael Johnson. No one talked much about Usain Bolt until 2008.
And suddenly, Usain burst into world athletic scene, like a Bolt from the Blue. The transition occurred almost overnight, beginning with Bolt competing in New York City in early 2008, where he reduced the 100 meter time to 9.72 seconds to set a new world record. Later in the Beijing Olympic Games of 2008, Usain Bolt created more history, which made him one of the biggest athletes in the world.
There has been no looking back since Bolt’s entry to the 100 meter event. He has only gone from strength to strength with his superlative performances in Track and Field. Following the dream performances of Beijing Olympics, he made headlines at IAAF World T&F Championships in Berlin in 2009 and Daegu in 2011. His Berlin story is historic since he set new world records in the 100 and 200 meter events by amazingly clocking 9.58 seconds for 100 meters and 19.19 seconds for 200 meters. In Daegu, however, Bolt was disqualified in the 100 meter event for a false start but powered his way to the Gold in 200 meter final in 19.40 seconds.`
While his feats at the London Olympic Games have been described at the start of this article, the Bolt story cannot be complete without mentioning his memorable performances at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium in August 2013. Running in drenching rain and poor visibility, Bolt emerged a clean winner in the 100 meter race. He also won the 200 meter and 4 x 100 meters events, equaling the record of 8 gold medals in world championships, jointly held by Allyson Felix, Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson, all from USA.
Bolt turned 27 last month. In athletics 27 is not considered too high. Therefore, the world will continue seeing Bolt for a long time, enthralling the Track and Field enthusiasts. Such guys are rare and Usain Bolt is one of a kind.
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