Bolt and Blake give Jamaica a ‘birthday present’
Bolt and Blake go one-two in the Olympics 100m on the eve of Jamaica’s 50th Independence Day celebration.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday, August 6, 2012 – World’s fastest man Usain Bolt promised his fellow Jamaicans a special ‘birthday present’ as his nation readied to celebrate their 50th anniversary of independence today and he did not disappoint.
The 25-year-old sprinting superstar blazed down the 100 metre track at the 2012 London Olympics yesterday (August 5) to take home the gold medal in 9.63 seconds, successfully defending his 2008 Olympic title and setting a new Olympic record.
Coming up a fast second was his biggest rival and training partner Yohan Blake, who equalled his personal best of 9.75 seconds to take home a silver medal.
After Blake successively defeated Bolt in the 100 metres and 200 metres sprints in Jamaica during their national qualifying heats from June to July speculation was rife that Bolt might have finally met his match and could even be beaten again on the Olympic stage.
However, Bolt decisively put an end to the debate as he outstripped the young man known as ‘The Beast’ for his training stamina to cross the finish line well out front.
Still, Bolt admitted after the race in an interview with the BBC that he had to psyche himself up for the win.
“I was slightly worried about my start,” said Bolt in his first interview after the race. “I didn’t want to false start again.”
“My coach said, ‘stop worrying about your start; your best part is the end’,” said Bolt.
However, the champion athlete said he never doubted he would bring Olympic glory.
“I tell you people when it comes to championships, it’s all about business for me!” Bolt said.
What would have made the day even more special for Jamaicans would have been a clean sweep of the medal podium, which was possible with former world record holder Asafa Powell also in the race.
However, this was not to be as American Justin Gatlin swept into third with a personal best 9.79 seconds after Powell pulled up 70 metres into the race after a recurring groin injury resurfaced. Powell then finished a disappointing last in a time of 11.99 seconds.
According to the Jamaica Gleaner, Powell is to undergo an MRI today to assess the extent of the groin injury which ruined his chances at a medal.
Powell has been treating the niggling groin injury for several years and shortly before the Olympics, the injury again flared up and just before the Jamaican Olympic trials in June he flew to Miami to have it treated, stated the Gleaner.
Hundreds of Jamaicans who live overseas have already returned home to participate in not only independence celebrations but to witness the performance of Bolt, Blake, Powell and other Jamaican athletes at the London Olympic games.
The island is decked out in the colours of the flag – along sidewalks, light poles and billboards as patriotism sweeps the nation.