There are now two such men.
Yohan "The Beast" Blake ran the 100-meter dash in 9.75 seconds on Friday at the Jamaican Olympic Trials, beating his training partner by .11 seconds.
The flashy Bolt must feel like he just took a shot put to the gut. When he lost to Blake at the 2011 World Championships, he had a false start disqualification to blame it on. This time, he is already making excuses about being bothered at the starting line.
Although Bolt still has a rather safe hold on the world record (9.58 seconds), no longer are blokes in the London pubs calling him "World's Fastest Man" as they sip their ales. In fact, the guys sipping Red Stripes at bars in Montego Bay can't even call him "Jamaica's Fastest Man" anymore.
Of course, this is just one race, and as far as naming a favorite for Olympic gold, Bolt could be the one. He's still the 6'5", pose-striking, charismatic star whom people want to see. He's still the biggest name in track and field.
The scenario is comparable to what has happened with Tiger Woods. Five years ago, Tiger was winning tournament after tournament and was the golfer that everyone wanted to watch. Now his dominance has receded, but he undeniably remains the golfer that everyone wants to watch. It is not, however, "The Tiger Woods Era" anymore.
Blake (22) is three years younger, and his training regimen is already legendary. All signs point to more world titles and OIympic gold in his future. Bolt is still young at 25, but people like Maurice Greene are already saying he does not look as good as he did in Beijing.
What Bolt has now, however, is a remarkable source of motivation as he tries to defend his title in London. That is a scary thought for the rest of the field at the starting line.
Whether he wins gold or not, Bolt still stands out in the hype-factor category. Blake and his daily intake of 16 ripe bananas (as he noted in an adidas video), however, have peeled away Bolt's invincibility.
There are now two Jamaican sprinters inhabiting this era of track lore.
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