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August 10 2012

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Jamaica’s Usain Bolt has said he was expecting a world record in the 200m final, but he said he had to temper his effort because he felt a pain in his back when he came around the curve.

“I was fast, but I was not fit enough,” Bolt said in a BBC interview shortly after the race.

“I knew it was going to be a world record because when I came off the corner I could feel it,” Bolt said.

But he says he felt a strain on his back and so he had to change his form.
“I really wanted to try to get the world record, but it was hard,” he said.

Bolt blazed to 19.32 seconds to lead a clean sweep for Jamaica in the men’s 200m final. …

(via Back pain stopped world record, says Usain Bolt - News - Latest News - Jamaica Gleaner)

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• David Rudisha storms to gold in 1min 40.91sec
• Kenyan runner avoids wild celebrations at finish

They say David Rudisha is ‘the greatest runner you’ve never heard of’. That is the line that has been rolled out by the headline writers at the BBC, Vanity Fair and a few others in recent weeks. You know him now. Rudisha, the greatest 800m runner in history, broke his own world record at the Olympic Stadium on Thursday night. He became the first man in history to run two laps of the track in under 1min 41sec, finishing in 1:40.91.

For a lap and a half, the 80,000 crowd, already giddy with anticipation of seeing Usain Bolt race Yohan Blake in the 200m final later that night, seemed to have been silenced, as through they were stunned by what Rudisha was doing. He led the race from the first bend to the finish line, running a series of split times that defied both belief and sense – 23.30sec for 200m, 49.28sec for 400m, 1min 14.30sec for 600m. On and on he went, his long. muscular stride carrying him smoothly along the track. Finally, as he kicked again around the final bend, it became clear that this was really happening, and the 80,000 erupted into life.

If you did not know Rudisha, it is only because he keeps such a low profile. There were no histrionics on the startline, and no exuberant celebrations at the finish. The only difference was that his smile was a little bigger at one end than it had been at the other. “I am very happy,” he said after he had completed a lap of honour together with his Kenyan teammate Timothy Kitum, who took bronze. “I’ve waited for this moment for a very long time. To come here and get a world record is unbelievable. I had no doubt about winning. Today the weather was beautiful – I decided to go for it.” Indeed it was. Outside the sun was setting, turning the sky a colour that must have been familiar to Rudisha, a twilight shade that he grew up with each night in Iten, up in the Rift Valley. It was a glorious day, falling towards the end of a wonderful Games, and it helped inspire him to produce one of the defining moments of the 2012 Olympics. …

(via David Rudisha breaks world record to win Olympic 800m gold for Kenya | Sport | The Guardian)

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“Some people think I’m bonkers. But I just think I’m free. Man I’m just living my life. There’s nothing crazy about me.” The DJ had a good sense of timing. He dropped Dizzee Rascal’s track Bonkers, which has become a kind of unofficial anthem for these Olympics, just a moment after Usain Bolt had crossed the line, breaking the tape with the forefinger he had held up to his lips to silence the world. Too late Usain, they were all too busy going nuts. By the time Rascal had reached the verse Bolt was face down on the track reeling off a series of push-ups while Yohan Blake cheered him on, along with 80,000 other people in the stadium, and countless millions around the world.

It took Bolt 19.32sec to run the 200m final and two hours and 15 minutes to make his way from the finish line to the press conference room, which is about 20 metres from the track. It was not his fault. He had to take the long way around. It started with a lap of honour that saw him stop to bump fists with everyone and anyone in the front row of the crowd who was wearing Jamaican kit, the masses reaching out to grab at him like the girl in the front row of the Shea Stadium when The Beatles played in ‘65. By the time he had reached the home straight again, Bolt had bumped into a Swedish photographer, who, he said, has “been stressing me for the last three days, he’s always like ‘Usain, Usain, take a picture, take a picture.’” So Bolt obliged. He took the camera and started snapping Blake, who was vamping it up like Vincent Price after a long night on the rum, striking that the scowling beast pose of his. Even Bolt finds that absurd, teasing him much as Muhammad Ali used to mock Sonny Liston, waving his arms around in front of him as though he was pretending to be a zombie.

Bolt said he was so worried that Blake was outshining him with his pre-race routine that he was forced to cook up the regal wave he offered the crowd on the startline tonight, just to tickle the British fans. Before that Bolt had been talking to the volunteer who was holding his kit. “I said to her ‘you nervous? Why?’ and she was like ‘I’m just so excited!’ So that was pretty funny.” …

… And we found out that Bolt believes he can beat David Rudisha, the new Olympic 800m champion, over a 400m race. That, actually, was a more interesting line than the rest, if only because Rudisha is keen on the idea himself, and has said he thinks the race would “be great fun”. If that happens, the world might just fall off its axis.

Pity the poor tongue-tied journalist who asked “Can you assure us that you and the Jamaican drug team…” at which point the room burst into hysterics. “Pardon me that was a slip of the tongue… can you assure us that the Jamaican track team are drug free?” Yes, he could. “Is happiness the real drug?” asked another. And someone else got up just to offer their congratulations on behalf of “the millions of people in India”. …

(via Usain Bolt celebrates at length after winning the Olympic 200m final | Sport | The Guardian)

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Usain Bolt poses with Warren Weir (left) and Yohan Blake (right), after Jamaica swept the board in the Olympic 200m final. Photograph: Jeremy Selwyn/NOPP

Shush, he told the crowd before the start. Calm down, he gestured. So serene was he, so unstressed by the whole thing, that after he had taken care of the necessary business he got down on the track and performed a few press-ups. In between times he ran 200m in 19.32 seconds: not a threat to his own world record, or even to his Olympic record, but certainly good enough to reassert his standing as the world’s fastest man.

Yohan Blake, his compatriot and training partner, had beaten Bolt in the national trials at both 100 and 200m, and he did his best once again to give his rival a contest, finishing strongly and closing what had been a big lead as they came off the bend to a margin of 0.4sec – still an eternity – behind the great man. Warren Weir completed a devastating clean sweep of the medals for Jamaica. …

(via Usain Bolt seals his place in the pantheon with stunning fifth gold | Sport | The Guardian)

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Olympic double gold medal winner says he now wants to add a third to his London 2012 collection

(via Usain Bolt’s double gold: ‘I’m now a legend. I am the greatest athlete to live’ | Sport | The Guardian)

August 07 2012

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Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (centre), Veronica Campbell-Brown (left) and the United States’ Carmelita Jeter display their medals on the podium during the medal presentation ceremony for the women’s 100m Olympic finals, at the London Olympic Games yesterday. Fraser-Pryce (10.75 seconds) won gold ahead of silver medallist Jeter (10.78), while Campbell-Brown (10.81) took bronze. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

(via ‘This one means more’ - Sports - Jamaica Gleaner - Monday | August 6, 2012)

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce after winning the womens’ 100m final

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The Jamaican is so fast that he also has time to indulge in a spot of air-DJing …

(via Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt: the joker fools around - in pictures | Sport |

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Usain, Yohan give Jamaica birthday gift

LONDON, England:

Ernesto might have spared Jamaica, for the most part, but the world felt the effects of ‘Hurricane Bolt’ when Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt successfully defended his Olympic 100m title, sprinting to an Olympic record 9.63, as Jamaica booked its third and fourth medals at these games - the perfect gift to a nation celebrating its 50th year of Independence today.

“It’s wonderful, it’s a wonderful feeling to give Jamaica a gold medal and defend my title, and I know that everybody is happy and tomorrow (today) when the national anthem is played, I think it will be even greater for all of us,” said an elated Bolt after his race.

World Champion Yohan Blake equalled his personal best 9.75 to win the silver medal ahead of American Justin Gatlin, who recorded a 9.79 clocking and the youngster also had a special birthday wish for his homeland.

“Jamaica we ‘likkle but we tallawah’, it’s been great and tomorrow (today) is going to be a special moment for us on the podium,” said Blake, who joins Herb McKenley (1952), Lennox Miller (1968) and Donald Quarrie (1976) as Olympic 100m silver medallists. …

(via HURRICANE BOLT - Lead Stories - Jamaica Gleaner - Monday | August 6, 2012)

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Jamaica’s Usain Bolt does his trademark pose for fans in the London Olympic Stadium as he celebrates winning the Olympic Games’ men’s 100 metres final yesterday. Bolt won in an Olympic record, 9.63 seconds. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

(via Digicel Photo of the Day - Sports - Jamaica Gleaner - Monday | August 6, 2012)

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Usain Bolt’s Olympic 100m triumph triggers jubilation in Jamaica

Sprinter delivers early birthday present to his homeland on eve of celebrations to mark 50 years of independence

Usain Bolt’s 100 metres Olympic victory sparked ecstatic celebrations in his homeland, where national pride was already riding high on the eve of celebrations to mark 50 years of Jamaica’s independence.

Unbridled joy from crowds gathered in the centre of Kingston grew louder with every second as the powerful strides of world’s fastest man took him to the finish line.

Bolt’s early birthday present to his country, delivered in a blistering 9.63 seconds, was exactly what hundreds, including many who had journeyed from the sprinter’s parish of Trelawny, had come to watch together on a big screen. Traffic in the Jamaican capital came to a standstill as people, braving the cold and rain of Tropical storm Ernesto, sounded horns and clanged pot covers.

Others mimicked the now famous pose of the double Olympic champion or cheered each appearance of his compatriot Yohan Blake, who many considered as Bolt’s main rival going into the race but who finished a respectable second with a time of 9.75 seconds.

The passion was just as great closer to the scene of Bolt’s historic feat last night:at the Jamaica House – bit of the Caribbean island created at the 02 in North Greenwich which has operated as a base for Jamaican fans.

Bolt triggered an endless blanket of noise and hysteria; the sort of carefree jumping and proclaiming usually reserved for the spirit filled pews of a Pentecostal assembly. The moment the gun was fired, the crowd chanted and brayed and hooted and they didn’t stop until he was safely home. They cheered for their man apart, and then for his compatriot and rival Blake. Just as lustily, they booed the American runners – vanquished in less than 10 seconds.

“I am so happy,” said Rosa Nelson, 37, from Edmonton, north London, pausing to mimic Bolt’s trademark archery stance. “He represents a small nation, the best of our small nation presenting itself to the world. We have the fastest man and the fastest woman. We are confident and we are proud and now we are even prouder.” …

(via Usain Bolt’s Olympic 100m triumph triggers jubilation in Jamaica | Sport | The Guardian)

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100m final: Thunder Bolt – Lightning Usain strikes twice

London 2012: Jamaican runner storms to victory, breaking Olympic record with time of 9.63 seconds

Usain Bolt became only the second man in Olympic history to take a second gold medal in the men’s 100 metres final on Sunday night. With a time of 9.63 seconds – a new Olympic record – he beat Yohan Blake, his fellow Jamaican and the latest pretender to his throne, into second place in a race in which the first seven runners went under 10 seconds. …

(via 100m final: Thunder Bolt – Lightning Usain strikes twice | Sport | The Guardian)

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London 2012: It’s sweeter because you doubted me, says Usain Bolt

The 100m champion from Jamaica says he always delivers when it comes to the Olympics

Usain Bolt said the motivation to prove his doubters wrong had helped propel him to his second Olympic 100m title in 9.63sec but that he would not be a “legend” until he had also won the 200m.

Bolt said his electrifying run, in which all the field bar the injured Asafa Powell went under 10 seconds, was further proof that he always delivered on the biggest stage. “When it comes to the championship, it’s all about business. It’s what I do,” said Bolt. “The reason it’s sweeter is because a lot of you guys doubted me. I’m showing the world I’m the greatest and I’m going to show up on the day.”

Bolt admitted that he got off to a shaky start – and still managed to finish in an Olympic record time that has only been bettered by his own world record. “My start wasn’t the best. But my coach had already explained to me not to worry about the start. I came with one goal. The last 50m is where I shine.”

The Jamaican beat his friend and compatriot Yohan Blake by 12-hundredths of a second but paid tribute to him for giving him a “wake-up call” when he beat him in the Jamaica trials in the 100m and 200m. “I’ve told Yohan Blake that I’m not going to have him beat me again. The trials woke me up. Yohan gave me a wake-up call,” Bolt said. “He knocked on my door and said, ‘Usain, this is Olympic year, wake up’. After that I refocused and got my head in the game.”

Jamaica’s sprinting phenomenon, who has faced persistent questions about his fitness in the run-up to the Games, said that a back injury that troubled him earlier in the season no longer worried him.

As he tried to rationalise his achievement in winning another gold medal, he uncharacteristically admitted that he was “slightly nervous”. But once he got on to the track, the nerves went away. “It means one step closer to being a legend. That’s one step, I have the 200m to go, so I’m looking forward to that.”

There was no showboating from one of the world’s greatest showmen, out of respect for the depth of talent in the field. “I just ran. I ran my hardest and ran through the line,” he said. …

(via London 2012: It’s sweeter because you doubted me, says Usain Bolt | Sport | The Guardian)


July 25 2012

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