Usain Bolt has had four years to think about his trio of record-setting times in at the 2008 Beijing Games, and now the Jamaican sprinter is ready to storm the 2012 London Olympics with an eye of beating them again.
Bolt set records and tore past the competition in 2008, running the 100 meters in a time of of 9.69 seconds. He has since broken his own record, running the 100 meters in 9.58 seconds at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany.
Usain Bolt’s blistering runs made him a star of the 2008 Olympics, but because track and field events start later in the games his star was overshadowed by the record-setting performance of swimmer Michael Phelps. Even the unprecedented sweep of the 100, 200 and 4×100-meter relay with record-setting times wasn’t enough to make Bolt the star of the games, the Associated Press noted.
Thing should be different for Usain Bolt this time around. There is no swimmer as dominant as Phelps at the 2012 London Olympics and no story has grown “larger” than the games itself. As the 10-day track and field events begin Friday at the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, Bolt is positioned to take the games by storm and could establish himself as a “living legend” if he can beat any of his records again, the Associated Press noted.
Usain Bolt should have some competition if he wants to do it. Fellow Jamaica native Yohan Blake is a favorite leading into the Games, and at Jamaican trials he beat Bolt in the 100 and 200 finals.
Bolt could be challenged by the Americans as well, with Tyson Gay looking for an Olympic medal and Justin Gatlin trying to return from a four-year doping ban with a win. Asafa Powell, another Jamaican, could also challenge Bolt.
Blake said he was looking forward to some friendly competition with Bolt, who gave Blake the nickname “The Beast.”
“There’s no pressure,” Blake told the Associated Press . “Yes, I’m the fastest man in the world right now and some people say I’m the man to beat, but when we’re on the line, it’s different.”
If Usain Bolt wants to break his 100 meter record, he could have an impediment from the London environment, Science Daily reported. The report found New Zealand researchers who studied wind and environment conditions and found that with a tailwind of 2 meters per second at an altitude of 999 meters, Bolt could run the 100 meters in 9.48 seconds.
Unfortunately for Usain Bolt, London sits just 24 meters above sea level.
Usain Bolt has had some help from the wind in the past, Science Daily noted. While there was no tailwind during his 2008 Olympics run, at the World Championships there was a tailwind of 0.9 meters per second.
Whether or not he wins, Bolt thinks the Games will make for an exciting show.
“Hands down. For sure,” Usain Bolt told the Associated Press. “I’m thinking this could easily be one of the fastest 100 meters anybody has ever seen, because these guys have shown a lot of potential throughout the season. There are guys that have been running fast, especially because it’s an Olympic year.”