The Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association has announced that world record holder Usain Bolt will be the part of their nation’s Olympic team for 2016 Summer Games in Rio. After the conclusion of the Jamaican Olympic Trials, a large contingent of Track-and-Field athletes has been cleared for the Rio Olympics and Bolt features in 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay. In 100m, Bolt will be joined by Nickel Ashmeade, Yohan Blake and Jevaughn Minzie. Except Minzie, Bolt, Ashmeade and Blake will also run the 200m, where the fourth Jamaican will be Julian Forte. The world-record holder Bolt is also named as one of the athletes for the 4×100 relay team along with Nickel Ashmeade, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Yohan Blake, Jevaughn Minzie and Asafa Powell. In the United States, Justin Gatlin has also been included in the 100 and 200m events and athletic fans around the world will wait for another impending showdown between Bolt and Gatlin after the two fought with one another at last year’s Beijing World Championships. In the US Olympic trials, Gatlin will be joined in 100m by Trayvon Bromell and Marvin Bracy and in the 200m; he will be complimented by the presence of LaShawn Merritt and Ameer Webb.
Usain Bolt’s Olympic participation had recently run into jeopardy after he withdrew from the Jamaican Olympic trials in early July because of a Grade-I tear in his hamstring. But after the Jamaican Olympic Association approved his application for medical exemption on Monday, the way has been cleared for the super sprinter. Bolt flew to Germany for the treatment of his injury and he posted a picture of himself on Sunday to his 4 million followers on twitter to announce that he was on a road to recovery.
Since fully automated time-measurements became mandatory in international athletic events in 1977, Bolt has emerged as the first man to record the best times in 100m and 200m sprints. Both his 100m and 200m world records came at the 2009 Berlin World Championships, where he clocked 9.58 and 19.19 seconds in the two sprint events. Bolt is also the world-record holder in the 4×100 relay as part of the Jamaican team, which won the gold in 2012 London Olympics. Their time of 36.84 seconds is the only instance of a sub-37 second run in the event. The last day of the Rio Games on August 21, 2016 will coincide with Bolt’s 30th birthday but probably by then, he would have run in the finals of the 100m on August 14 and 200m on August 18. His last run at the Olympics will come with the 4×100 relay finals on August 19.
However the six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt knows the dangers posed for him as he goes for pursuing another Olympic victory. If nothing untoward happens, Bolt is now set for the Olympic showdown with his American rival Justin Gatlin. The American has recently recorded this year’s fastest time in 100m by clocking 9.80 at the US Olympic trials. Gatlin has also qualified in the 200m meters by winning at US trials with a time of 19.75 seconds to leave LaShawn Merritt at second place. Like Bolt, the 34-year old Gatlin also has perhaps his last chance at the Olympic Games and he will be determined to beat Usain Bolt in one of the most intriguing plot-line at Rio. Before Bolt won in 100m in successive Olympic Games at Beijing and London, the Gold medal was bagged by Gatlin in the 2004 Athens Game. However, the American athlete was out of commission for four years to serve a doping ban during 2006 to 2010. Since then, however, Gatlin has been a regular in the international athletic scene and his achievements have nearly washed off the dark spot of his career resume. Regardless, Gatlin has existed in the huge shadow of Usain Bolt, who has never stopped cornering international glory. In London Olympics, Gatlin had to settle for bronze after finishing 0.16 seconds adrift of Bolt. But the American sprinter continues to be Bolt’s closest rival, though Gatlin has beaten the Jamaican just once in a 2013 Rome athletic event. In last year’s World Championships at Beijing, Gatlin finished 0.01 seconds behind Bolt in the 100m sprint. The global athletic community has kept its fingers crossed for the 100m and 200m events in about a months’ time, where two of world’s greatest sprinters will cross the swords yet again.