Usain Bolt, A Sporting Great

Usain Bolt was born in August 1986 in Sherwood Content, a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica. As a youngster he was mostly interested in spending time playing football, cricket and
10 Apr 2016 09:52
Usain Bolt, A Sporting Great
Usain Bolt Getting Set

Usain Bolt was born in August 1986 in Sherwood Content, a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica.

As a youngster he was mostly interested in spending time playing football, cricket and basketball. At one time he considered a career as a cricketer, but, his natural talent for sprinting shone through and so he was encouraged to take the path of sprinting.

At 15 years old, Bolt already towered over his fellow competitors. Growing to a height of just over 6 foot 5 inches (1.90 metres), Bolt showed that a sprinter needed not be short and powerful like previous sprinting greats.

In 2002, he won Gold in the World Junior Championships in the 200m. At this stage in his career, Bolt appeared to give the impression of being quite laid back and enjoyed dancing and singing as a form of relaxation.

However, he was still training hard and won Gold at the World Youth Championship in the next year at 2003. In 2004, Bolt turned professional, under the guidance of new coach Fitz Coleman. He began his career with the CARIFTA Games in Bermuda. He became the first junior sprinter to break 20 seconds for the 200m.

By 2005, Bolt had a new coach, Glen Mills, who encouraged him to take a more professional approach and not just rely on his natural talent. Over the next few years, injury setbacks curtailed his career, but, he was still able to climb up the rankings. His big breakthrough came in the 2007 World Championships where he gained silver in the 200m and 4 x100m relay.

Bolt established a new 100m world record on May 31, 2008, where he ran an amazing 9.72 seconds at the Reebok Grand Prix held in the Icahn Stadium in New York City obliterating the previous world record.

Usain Bolt went into his first Olympic Games as one of the favourites, despite his youth and inexperience at major championships and he proved to be the revelation of the games. Easing through to the finals of both the 100m and 200m, he set the games alight with his electrifying display in both finals.

In the 100m final, Bolt powered ahead so quickly in the first 60m, he was able to ease off and celebrate in the last few metres. His dominance, audacity and youthful enthusiasm captivated the global audience.

In the 200m, Bolt again won gold and even more surprisingly broke Michael Johnson’s long-standing world record. By the next World Championship in Berlin 2009, he was able to again dominate all the sprint events winning a clean sweep at the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Again he set remarkable World Record times, lowering the time in the 100m to 9.58 and 19.19 for 200m.

At the London 2012 Olympic Games Bolt won three gold medals which was a clean sweep once again winning the 100m and 200m and was part of the team that set a new world record in the men’s 4x100m relay. At the 2013 world championships, Bolt again won a unique triple of gold at 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay. Bolt has announced that he will retire from athletics after the 2016 Olympics.

This is a truly unique and incredible achievement being the world record holder for the 100m and 200m sprint and also the 4x100m sprint world record that he and his fellow Jamaican compatriots set recently.

Let’s enjoy this phenomenal athlete one last time at the 2016 Olympic Games and I am sure all eyes will be on him as he sets his sights on more Gold and Glory.

Edited by Manasa Kalouniviti


The writer is a Fiji Sun  columnist.


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