Track and Field

Usain Bolt Shoots Lightning, Wins 100-Meter Dash in Record Time

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IAugust 16, 2008

As if his semifinal run of 9.92 seconds wasn't enough, Jamaica's Usain Bolt ran a blistering 9.69 in the final of the 100-meter dash to claim the gold and break his previous world record of 9.72 seconds.

The crazy thing? He wasn't even trying. Well, for the last 20 meters at least, when he decided to run sideways and extend his arms outward in celebration.

It left me thinking: How fast could Bolt really have gone if he had sprinted through the tape? Some experts on NBC said he "wasted a chance at 9.59", which, if so, would be absolutely ridiculous.

Let me remind you, by the way, that Bolt has only been running the 100 meters for one year now, and his specialty, the 200 meters is still to come.

His countryman Asafa Powell, who was supposed to challenge for the gold, recorded a disappointing fifth-place finish for the second consecutive Olympics.

We are brutally impressed when swimming sensation Michael Phelps wins by half a second in a two-minute race, but Powell won by 0.2 seconds in a race that takes ten seconds to complete. Most would consider that unfathomable.

So I ask you, reader, to take a few minutes to think about Bolt's accomplishment, as it remains in the shadows of Phelp's unbridled success.

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