Sunday, August 16, 2009
World Championships Day Two - UnbelievaBOLT !!
Words can't describe what I watched earlier today - so I invented a new one! How else do you describe the greatest 100 meter race in the history of the planet?
Consider that Asafa Powell finally ran near his potential in a Major. At 9.84 he would have won almost every other major ever contested. Today he was rewarded by setting a record for the fastest ever third place - in any race!
Consider that Tyson Gay shattered the American Record and came within a hair of Usain Bolt's WR with his sizzling 9.71! Only Bolt's 9.69 Beijing race has been faster - meaning Gay would have won any other race ever run in the history of the planet. Yet Tyson pounded his thigh as he came to a stop knowing that he had just become the second fastest human in the history of mankind - because he had just lost to the fastest!
Because on this day Usain Bolt did something totally incredible, blowing right by his own WR to something here-to-fore only talked about in fantasy terms - an unbelievaBOLT 9.58. That's a nine followed by a dot, a FIVE, and an eight. Yes a FIVE! Nine FIVE eight.
I knew that these warriors were ready to do something special. But to be honest I was looking at lowering the record somewhere to the mid 9.6 range. But I guess this is what happens when titans refuse to show weakness. In a race where I figured the win would go to the man that best minimized his weakness, BOTH men exhibited very good starts in the final. So with neither man having a weakness, the race went to the man that had the best strength - and Bolt eats up space like nobody's business! And eat up space he did.
That ability was flashed just before the start of the race as the lane assignments were announced. As Bolt stood between Powell and Gay, he towered over them like the big kid on the playground over everyone else. And as they entered the blocks I knew that unless Tyson Gay was able to get some space between he and Bolt early, it was going to be a long day for Mr. Gay.
At the gun Bolt (.146) and Gay (.144) had very good reaction times. Not as good as four others in the race, but very good for them. It put them both right with the field from the first step and the race for gold was on. It lasted only 20 meters however, as the long smooth strides of Usain Bolt began to edge ahead of the quick powerful strides of Tyson Gay. As the pulled away from the rest of the field there was no let up in either one, as you could sense that Bolt knew that Gay would not falter. A quick glance around 80 meters told him that Tyson was still there and as both men drove across the line Bolt then looked to his right - where the clock stopped at the unbelievaBOLT time of 9.58 - a new WR by .11 sec, the largest drop ever in the 100 meter record since automatic timing became the standard!
Tyson Gay was outstanding in defeat. He dropped the American Record by a whopping .06 - the largest drop since Maurice Greene took the AR from 9.85 to 9.79. Gay's 9.71 is the fastest ever losing time in any race in history - and it makes him the second fastest man in history! No man has ever done more to win a race - yet still lost. When asked after the race if he felt badly, Gay hit the nail on the head when he said "no, it took a WR to beat me"! But then, that's how it should have been.
Yes, there were other events today - mostly qualifying rounds. Jessica Ennis (GBR) took gold in the Heptathlon with a world leading 6731, Valerie Vili (NZL) won gold in the shot at 67' .75", and Olga Kaniskina the gold in the 20K walk at 1:28:09. But this day clearly belonged to the sprinters and particularly to Usain Bolt. Because today he was simply UnbelievaBOLT!
Full results of today and tomorrow's schedule can be found here.