Stupendous Bolt

What do you say of a man who didn’t take up the 100-metre dash seriously until a little over 18 months back, and has smashed the world record thrice since? What do you say of a phenom that declares himself ‘fatigued’ after sinking the 100M world record, and then proceeds to demolish his own mark with remarkable ease in the 200 metres two days later? The athletics world, indeed the sporting world, is richer for the electric, electrifying presence of Usain Bolt, the Jamaican superstar with surname most appropriate, and the holder of the two most coveted Olympic and World Championship titles gold medals, both in world record time. Bolt’s transformation from a promising 200-metre runner two years back to the unbeatable sprinting machine he is today has been little short of remarkable. He shook up the established order by smashing the 100-metre mark in New York last year, and proved it was no flash in the pan by decimating the opposition at the Beijing Olympics in both sprints in record time.

By emulating that double 12 months later, at the World Championships in Berlin, Bolt has gone where no man has before. He has done that in some style, brilliantly fusing showmanship on and off the track with a breathtaking burst of speed that has reduced the best in the business to mere mortals. The Berlin double was Bolt’s birthday gift to himself; the strapping Jamaican turned 23 on Friday. Yes, 23! History testifies that that is an age at which sprinters are some way short of the complete product. By extension, it means Bolt’s best is still ahead of him. What a fascinating, exciting, frightening prospect!
Despite his extraordinary times, languid grace and the regularity with which he keeps raising the bar, Bolt isn’t quite the perfect athlete. His acceleration is stupendously unmatched, but his start needs fine-tuning. It’s one facet of his running the Jamaican has assiduously been working on, and the results have been all too obvious inside the last week. It boggles the mind to imagine what heights he will touch and what times he will register once he masters all aspects of his trade. Already, 9.58 seconds for the 100 and 19.19 for the 200 are being viewed with an admixture of awe and envy. Already, he has perhaps eased ahead of legends like Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson in the pecking order. What other bolts do you have in store, Usain?!

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry