21 year old sprinter Usain Bolt has just broken the 100m world record, clocking 9.72 seconds at the New York Grand Prix meeting. What’s really impressive is that this was only the 5th time Bolt has competed in the 100m, because he is better over 200m!
Until footage of this race reaches youtube see Bolt here running the second fastest time in history (9.76) on 3rd May.
At 6ft 5in (1.96m) tall Bolt is a giant on the track – you can see him towering over the other sprinters in the video. As a result the rangy figure finds the start the hardest part of the race, and was apparently running 100m as a means of improving his start for his favoured distance, the 200m. Until now Bolt wasn’t even sure whether he would run the 100m in Beijing this summer. It seems as if he has not only taken the Athletics World by surprise with his times over 100m, but he has also surprised himself!
Interestingly Bolt regards the Olympics as a bigger prize than the world record (via BBC):
“You’ve got to be Olympic champion or world champion to really count.
“Tomorrow if someone comes and runs faster than me I’m no longer the fastest man in the world. If you’re the Olympic champion then they have to wait four more years to get you again.
“I think the Olympics is the biggest thing, so I’m looking for that, definitely.”
As an example of the extremely fine details that can make the difference at this elite level, Bolt recognised that a false start the first time they went to the blocks in New York helped him, as he had not got away very well. For one so tall this is a crucial element, and something Bolt has been working on a lot.
In Beijing Bolt’s biggest competition will probably come from Tyson Gay, the current World Champion and Asafa Powell, Bolt’s fellow Jamaican and the previous world record holder. In New York Gay also ran a personal best of 9.85, but still finished a relatively distant second to Bolt.
Here is the video of Usain Bolt’s world record breaking 100m