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Record breaker, Bolt, redefines athletics, transcends his sport

By Onochie Anibeze, in Berlin
INCREDIBLE! Usain Bolt smashes his own world record to win the world 100m title in Berlin. Tyson Gay was second in the third fastest time ever and Asafa Powell claimed bronze

Bolt
Bolt

Berlin’s electric blue track crackled and fizzed as the Jamaican took his world record – a time that seemed so improbable 12 months ago – and carved another chunk off.

He flashed across the line in 9.58 seconds while reigning champion Tyson Gay claimed silver and Asafa Powell completed the podium, both clocking impressive times destined to be consigned with immediate effect to history’s footnotes.
But, in truth, Bolt’s only rival was the clock.

It’s a battle that most athletes fight for years and never win but he seems to have found a way to make time stand still.
In this iconic venue 73 years ago, Jesse Owens faced down a tyrant and wrote his name into fabled legend.
Bolt’s victory here was never overshadowed by such menacing history but, like Owens, he has become an athlete who has transcended his sport.

Athletics officials, embattled by drugs scandals and desperate to introduce their wares to a new and younger audience, have seen their prayers answered by the boy from Sherwood Content.

“I think I’m establishing myself at the top but for me I don’t think two seasons can do it yet, it has to be year after year,” said Bolt.
“Tyson and Asafa are going to be coming after me next season and the year after that. This thing is going beyond. But when it comes to championships, I’m always ready.

“For me track and field is what I do. The competition between me, Tyson and Asafa is making the sport big and we want more sponsors so we can enjoy life.”

Bolt’s Beijing success was famously fuelled on Chicken Nuggets.  And he revealed this time he feared he might be dependent on the local bratwurst until a chance discovery on his way from training.

“It’s funny because Asafa told me there were no nuggets here but I found a McDonalds and I had a lot of nuggets for lunch,” he joked.
Bolt also claimed he never had any doubts about his success, although he isn’t being quite so bold in his predications for the 200m, which starts on Tuesday.

“Once I got to 50m I knew it would be hard for people to get past me,” he said.“I’m just happy I won. I think 9.58 is a big thing. It’s something really special.

“I doubt I’m going to get the world record in the 200m, it’s going to be even more difficult. I took Tyson’s title here and he’s going to come after me.”  Gay was understandably downbeat despite becoming the fastest American ever – not bad when you consider those who have gone before – and running the third quickest time in history.  “I’ve been telling people all year that a human could run that fast – I just wish it was me,” he said, ruefully.

Great Britain’s Dwain Chambers – for all his talk of Project Bolt – finished sixth in ten seconds flat.It was a season’s best time and creditworthy consid-ering the sprinter, banned by most promoters because of his doping conviction, has run few competitive races to build up for these championships.

“I can’t complain with sixth. It was great to attempt to put Project Bolt into action. But that guy can run to the moon and beyond me,” he admitted. “It was amazing to be part of history in this race. I was so envious last year but I’ve got my opportunity to experience it this time around. To come away with a season best is a great feeling for me.“And I don’t want to even think about what he’s going to run in the 200m.”


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