Usain bolts to sprint history (Profile)

November 24th, 2008 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Monte Carlo, Nov 24 (DPA) Only Olympic supremo Jacques Rogge was not fully amused about the way Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt took the sports world by storm with his golden Olympic sprint treble in world record time.Bolt Sunday night was named the World Athletes of the Year by the governing athletics body International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). He received $100,000 dollars for the award at a gala night here.

While acknowledging his undoubted class, Rogge said that Bolt was showboating and lacking respect for his rivals when he coasted to the 100m gold in a historic 9.69 seconds at the Beijing Games.

Bolt continued to jog in the preliminary rounds of the 200m only to mean business in the final to lower Michael Johnson’s world record to 19.30 seconds. The relay record then also fell as Bolt and his Jamaican team-mates clocked 37.10 seconds.

Bolt was not the first to get an Olympic sprint treble but no one had ever done so with world records in each race. No wonder the man known as “Lightning Bolt” won the World Athlete of the Year award on Sunday.

“You have Einstein. You have Isaac Newton. You have Beethoven. You have Usain Bolt. It’s not explainable how and what they do,” said Jamaican athletics coach Stephen Francis in Beijing as the world struggled for superlatives on the 22-year-old.

Unlike Rogge, the Chinese crowd loved every moment of Bolt who said: “I am a performer. I come down here to perform and if the people enjoy themselves I did well. This is my job. I won’t change.”

Bolt was known as an excellent 200m runner until he added the 100m this year - for training purposes but soon with success beyond all expectations.

A run of 9.76 seconds early in the season was a first statement and Bolt then raised the world record to 9.72 seconds on May 31 in New York.

The Beijing showings put him into the pantheon of athletics but his coach Glen Mills was quoted as saying a few days ago that Bolt required more fast runs in the future to be rated among the greatest sprinters in history.

Given the disrepute the likes of Ben Johnson and Justin Gatlin have brought to the sprint with positive doping tests it comes as no surprise that Bolt’s achievements have been met with suspicion as well.

But others have pointed at the long strides with which the lanky Bolt can separate himself from the rest of the field, and there is also Jamaica’s long sprint tradition.

“We are very proud people, we eat healthy and train very hard. We have a tradition of natural talents,” said sports minister Olivia Grange.

Whether the food aspect also applies to Bolt remains open, but he at least had a salad with his traditional (chicken) nuggets ahead of the relay.

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