Bolt The Perfect Fit For Beijing

Tim AndersonCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2008

Usain Bolt literally took a giant stride in becoming the track and field star for the coming Beijing Olympics last weekend in London. The 6’5” Jamaican blitzed the opposition at the Grand Prix event. He broke the British All-comers 200m record in a canter, slowing dramatically in the last 30m, and leading the official, and very impressive, time of 19.76s.

Before people lay into the drug debate, this guy is young, 6'5" and strong with an incredible spring in his step. This was true even when he first stepped onto the international circuit as a raw spindle in the junior ranks. Of course time is the great betrayer of recent champions, but lap it up this Olympics for pure power and talent. Put it this way, even if this guy is cheating, he's thrashing everyone else cheating out there.

The 21-year-old is now the star athlete to watch, potentially the first man to do the 100m and 200m double for the first time since Carl Lewis at the 1984 LA games. His coach will have to let this immensely talented athlete compete in both races as his win, and distance of winning, was so impressive in London that he could probably skip through the qualifying rounds of both events with plenty left in the tank for both finals.

Should he remain free from suspicion, an unfortunate disclaimer these days due to the ongoing disgracing of the sport's top sprinters, athletics has a saviour in its mix. Even Michael Johnson’s benchmark 200m record will be pushed, such is his potential. The 100m record is gone already, after only his fifth competitive 100m race. That is an immense achievement, drugs or not. 

This man is a potential phenomenon athletics has not seen for many years, if ever. Enjoy it for pure speed, whether you can dismiss the suspicion or not.