Friday, August 21, 2009


Can somebody stop him? 200 metres in 19:19 seconds! Look at how he runs, so effortless, so casual, so relaxed. My goodness!

Even Michael Johnson astonished by Bolt's progress
Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:57pm EDT
By Mitch Phillips

BERLIN (Reuters) - A year ago Michael Johnson predicted Usain Bolt would probably break his then 12-year-old 200 meters world record, but not yet. An hour later he was eating his words as his 19.32 was taken by the Jamaican's 19.30.

Johnson, this time working as an analyst for the BBC at the world championships, said on Thursday he thought Bolt was too tired to take it down further, only to watch stupefied as he took 11 hundredths off to complete a clean sweep of world and Olympic sprint titles, all secured with world record runs.

"Unbelievable -- a ridiculous race," Johnson said. "The bend is unbelievable. No one has ever run a bend like this and probably never will. He ran hard and tried as hard as possible. He was up on (Wallace) Spearmon 15 meters into the race.

"This is the most incredible bend ever. He doesn't run with technique -- he's rocking all over the place -- and then he's already got a big smile on his face at the end."

Compared to Johnson, everyone is rocking all over the place as the American brought a previously-unseen upright style to the 200 and 400.

Italian Pietro Mennea's altitude-set 19.72 had stood for 17 years before Johnson broke it with 19.66 in the 1996 U.S. trials and then flew his golden spikes round half the track for what seemed a magical 19.32 to take Olympic gold in Atlanta.

Bolt, just as he did in the 100 on Sunday, has taken the event to a whole new level still. It took 30 years to drop a tenth from the 10-second mark but Bolt has raced through the '9.6s' in 12 months.

Likewise, the 200 dropped less than three 10ths in the 30 years before Johnson and Bolt each took their monster bites.

And, after all the strutting and staring that characterized much of the world of sprinting in the last 20 years, Bolt has done it while looking as if he is preparing for a jog on the beach with his friends.

"He has a feel for the moment," said Spearmon, whose 19.85 seconds for third would have won all but two of the previous 11 world championship finals.

"If you watch him before the race he is loving every bit of everyone screaming his name. He takes it all in, he feeds off the crowd and it shows on the track.

"He's a great competitor. He's fast and he's what the world of track and field needs right now."

(Editing by Sonia Oxley)



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