Thursday, August 20, 2009

World Championships Day Six - More UnbelievaBOLT

Track and Field: 12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics

Often a meet becomes defined by an individual - someone who dominates. If the opening weekend didn't define this meet as belonging to Usain Bolt, then today certainly did.

I said earlier in the week that 9.58 was a time that had only been discussed previously in fantasy terms. Well the winning time of today's 200 meter final (19.19) has never been discussed in ANY terms! Such was the magnitude of the performance. It doesn't even look like a time that one would discuss in track and field! Yet that is where the clock stopped today as Usain Bolt crossed the line miles ahead of his nearest competitor!

Oh, the race. Almost forgot about the race - as I'm sure the other 7 competitors would wish they could. Consider that second place Alonso Edward ran 19.81 and was only .02 slower than former WR holder Michael Johnson had ever run in a World Championships. Yet he almost needed binoculars to see Bolt cross the line. Or how about Shawn Crawford. His 19.89 was only .10 off his winning time in the 2004 Olympic Games. But here didn't earn him a medal at all - but did provide a great view of Bolt's WR run. Such was the enormity of this victory.

The race was over after 50 meters. Bolt made up staggers well before he exited the turn. And with Tyson Gay nursing an injury, there was no one that could mount any sort of challenge. Which left Bolt in a race against the clock as he headed towards the finish - a race he won in 19.19 seconds. With 9.58 and 19.19 efforts this has become the most unbelievaBOLT meet ever! The equivalent of Bob Beamon in Mexico City times two, or MJ in Atlanta squared.

The athletes in the race, fans of the sport, and those looking to compete in the future will all be trying to wrap our minds around these performances for quite some time. Everything else today paled in comparison. We did get Blanka Vlasic winning the high jump and avenging her earlier defeat to Arianne Friedrich. And a Caribbean sweep of the medals on the track with Melaine Walker (JAM) winning the 400 hurdles and Ryan Braithwaite (BAR) the 110 hurdles. But the race on everyone's lips was the 200 - which by the way with 5 men under 20.00 was the deepest 200 meters ever run. And with 3 days of competition left, I think most are now waiting with baited breath to see what the relays have in store. And we won't have long to wait as the first round begins tomorrow.

Results, schedule and start lists can be found here.

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