Thursday, August 21, 2008

So fast! Bolt smashes own world record to win 100

So fast! Bolt smashes own world record to win 100

BEIJING (AP)—Usain Bolt of Jamaica easily broke his own world record in the 100 meters to win the Olympic gold medal Saturday night, slowing up to celebrate and still finishing in 9.69 seconds.

Bolt stretched his arms out wide and put his palms out, then slapped his chest just before crossing the line. He came in well below his old mark of 9.72 seconds, set May 31 in New York—less than a year after Bolt took up the dash.

What had been billed as a showdown was not close at all. Richard Thompson of Trinidad took the silver medal in 9.89, and Walter Dix of the United States was third in 9.91.

The 21-year-old Bolt’s performance left no doubt whatsoever about who deserves the title of “World’s Fastest Man.”

Former world record-holder Asafa Powell of Jamaica was fifth, while reigning world champion Tyson Gay of the United States failed to qualify for the final.

Bolt’s specialty has been the 200 meters, which he will be a heavy favorite to win next week in what would be first men’s Olympic sprint double since Carl Lewis in 1988. But he persuaded his coach to let him try the dash—and what quick progress Bolt has made.

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