Usain Bolt: 100-Meter Dash Is Make or Break for Jamaican Sprinter

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica after competing in the Men's 100m Round 1 Heats on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Sunday's 100-meter dash will present another opportunity for Usain Bolt to prove that he's the fastest man on the planet.

The world-record holder for the quickest 100-meter dash (9.58 seconds) in the history of sprinting got off to a slow start in London, when he stumbled out of the gate on his way to a 10.09 time that qualified him for the semifinals.

Despite a not-so-Bolt performance, the 25-year-old runner put his cockiness on display for the entire world to see when he looked into the television camera, held up his index finger and said, "No. 1, baby. All day, every day," according to the Associated Press (h/t

Given the showboating we saw in Beijing after he collected three gold medals, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Bolt would be parading around like he just set a new world record, even after he performed at what was really a subpar showing by his standards. 

The problem with Bolt is that he's not invincible.

His fellow countryman Yohan Blake eclipsed Bolt in both the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes in the Jamaican trials held in Kingston earlier this year.

According to the Huffington Post, it was a bad back that led to hamstring issues that caused Bolt to lose to Blake in Kingston—there's Bolt, never admitting defeat. 

And don't forget, Bolt was disqualified in the 100-meter final at the IAAF World Championships in South Korea last summer for taking off too soon.

The 2012 Games boast some of the best competition for Bolt, with Blake, Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, Ryan Bailey and Asafa Powell all posing legitimate threats to both Bolt's medal chances and ego.

So make no mistake about it—this is a make-or-break race for Usain Bolt. If he loses and a new sprinting champion is crowned, this could be the end of Bolt's illustrious career.

Bolt has reached the pinnacle of track and field—earning multiple gold medals and holding a world record for the fastest time on the planet—but it's time for him to put up or shut up.

You can only call yourself number one if you cross the finish line first, and in order for Usain Bolt to continue strutting around as the fastest man, he needs to blow away the competition in the 100-meter dash Sunday.

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