London Aviva Grand Prix 2013: Runners with Best Chance of Upsetting Usain Bolt
The 2013 Aviva London Grand Prix is set to commence on Friday, July 26. With countless track and field superstars taking center stage, there will be no shortage of opportunities for underdogs to rise up and steal the spotlight.
The question is, which athletes stand the best chance of upsetting the ultimate track and field superstar: Usain Bolt?
Bolt is at the top of his profession, setting world records and winning races of extreme importance with apparent ease. With that being said, no athlete is invincible, and from time to time, an unexpected challenger will rise up and dethrone a champion.
So who might that contender be at the London Grand Prix?
Nesta Carter, Jamaica
During the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, Nesta Carter won gold medals as a member of Jamaica's 4x100-meter relay. He also won a gold medal in that same race during the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
It's time the 27-year-old broke through on his own.
Carter holds a personal best of 9.78 seconds in the 100-meter dash, which was the fastest time of the year in 2010. On the biggest of stages, however, Carter hasn't been able to break through, mainly due to the quality of his countrymen.
Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Yohan Blake just so happen to be the fastest trio in the world.
With Powell facing a suspension for doping and Blake not taking part in this race, Carter has a chance to finally break through. Fresh off a bronze medal at the 2012 London Grand Prix in the 100-meter dash, there's certainly reason to believe he can.
Entering the race, Carter is the favorite to catch Bolt, if anyone can.
James Dasaolu, Great Britain
There are quite a few middle-of-the-pack runners in the 100-meter dash, as their personal bests and average times float around the same number. With this in mind, it all comes down to which sprinter will be able to break through.
If we had to gamble on one underdog, it would be James Dasaolu of Great Britain.
Dasaolu is the local hero in this one, serving as one of two British runners in this race. More specifically, Dasaolu will have a homecoming as he hails from London, England.
With the crowd on his side, there's bound to be an additional edge.
It goes without saying that Dasaolu will need to run the race of his life to top Usain Bolt. Fortunately, Dasaolu ran his personal best earlier this month.
As a rapidly-improving runner with the crowd behind him, Dasaolu has a legitimate opportunity to shock the world.
Michael Rodgers, United States of America
With Tyson Gay facing a potential ban for substance abuse, the United States of America's track and field team will be led by Michael Rodgers. With a personal-best time of 9.85 seconds in the 100-meter dash, there's no question that Rodgers has the speed to contend.
If he's going to win the gold medal, however, Rodgers will need to set a new personal best.
Both Bolt and Carter are capable of running a sub-9.8-second 100-meter dash, which means Rodgers will need to be on the top of his game. The likelihood of both Bolt and Carter topping that speed is slim, but that doesn't make this any easier.
Bolt has a personal best of 9.58 seconds, which is a full .27 faster than Rodgers.
While conventional wisdom may say that Bolt will pull away and Rodgers will be competing for the second spot, this is an emotional race. The U.S. national team has seen their hopes all but gutted by the loss of Gay, thus leaving the sprinting community without an American superstar.
Sometimes, adversity is the best motivation, and that may just be the case for Rodgers at the 2013 London Grand Prix.
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