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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Usain Bolt proves he is the undisputed king of the sprints

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the 200m.

Usain Bolt ran another incredible race on Wednesday to shatter Michael Johnson’s 200m world record of 19.32 seconds that had looked unbeatable for a dozen years.

The Olympic sprint double, the first since Carl Lewis clinched one at home in 1984, had long been forecast for the Jamaican, but the world record in the longer dash was in some doubt. Not even Michael Johnson saw any possibility of a 19.3 this day as he addressed a press conference hours before the sprinters settled into their blocks.

No one had scripted two world records for Bolt in the Beijing Games, though for weeks during the run-up there was talk of a possible double for the Jamaican who will celebrate his 22nd birthday on Thursday. What else could he have asked for as a present on the eve?

His 9.69 for the 100 had come rather effortlessly though he was a relative ‘newcomer’ to the short dash compared to the rest. Here he was the favourite and he made sure of the record. Unlike the easing up and gestures that marked the 100 metres, there was no let-up towards the finish on Wednesday.

He ran through and then celebrated, lying on the track and later doing a jig around the stadium to the delight of another packed house of 91,000.

Behind Bolt, dreams were realised and then shattered as Churandy Martina of the Netherlands Antilles and American Wallace Spearmon joined Bolt’s celebrations for having 'won' the silver and bronze to be told later that they were disqualified for lane violations.

It was celebration time for Jamaica once again, as the women’s 400 metres hurdles gold went to Melaine Walker, with an Olympic record 52.64. Sheena Tosta of the U.S. pipped Tasha Danvers of Britain for the silver with a 53.70.

"I have dreamt about it a million times. I wanted to be victorious in this race. It is a great blessing to all Jamaican people. It is God who has given us all the talent to do all that we did in the Olympics. We have to be grateful," said Walker.

Bolt obviously aimed for the record and got it at 19.30 seconds

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