It wasn’t even close.
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt ran an insane 100 meter race time of 9.69 seconds, a new world record (breaking his 3-month old record of 9.72) even as he decelerated in the final 15 meters, arms out, head looking to his right for non-existent challengers.
In a flash Bolt has resurrected the sport of Track from the dark shadows of its recent past and thrust it back into the mainstream where it belongs.
Make no mistake about it, Usain Bolt is a remarkable talent. At 6’5″ and just 21 years of age, he is redefining the preconceived notions of what a 100 meter sprinter is supposed to be. If it weren’t for him being Jamaican or Michael Phelps winning 8 golds in swimming, Bolt would be the star athlete of these games. He should return home to Jamaica with three gold medals in the three events that he can compete in — 100, 200 and 4×100 relay. If like swimming, track had a 60, 150, 200 backwards, etc. Bolt would win those too. I don’t want to get into a sidetrack here about why the thought of Phelps as the greatest Olympian or greatest athlete shouldn’t even be entertained but look, we all have to realize that swimming is one of the very rare sports in the Olympics (like gymnastics to a degree) where an individual can easily compete in multiple events and medal. Other sports where athletes have to train just as hard if not harder, are rewarded with just one gold medal. Take wrestling for example, nowhere near as glamorous as swimming but still just as taxing on your body and physically challenging and yet for each wrestler there is just one gold medal event and you have to survive a grueling tournament bracket to do so. Look, Phelps is amazing, probably the best all-around swimmer in history but he is not the star athlete of these games, it should be Usain Bolt.
Usain Bolt is taking his sport to levels previously unimagined. A 9.69 without even trying? That’s absolutely ridiculous! 20 years ago the very best sprinters in the world were running 9.9 times. Now, Bolt is jogging 9.92s like it’s just a walk in the park. That’s what is so great about what Bolt is doing, he’s not only redefining the sport he’s testing the possibilities of the human body further than what anyone has ever done. How fast can a human being run? What are our limits? Prior to Bolt’s 9.69 time, I would never have imagined seeing a 9.5 ever recorded, now I can see that possibility.
Think about what I just said. 9.5 in the 100 meters! That’s INSANE. Imagine if Bolt takes it lower, say 9.4 or 9.3. Whether that can be done or not, I don’t know. But, I do know this, Bolt will test the human body’s limits further than anyone in my lifetime, he’s an absolute freak of nature and an athlete like him comes around once in a lifetime. I for one, am fascinated to see what those limits are.