On the eve of his birthday, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt made history. He won the GOLD for the 200 meter by four body lengths on the world’s biggest stage at the Olympics in Beijing, China. He smashed Michael Johnson’s 12 year record of 19.32 seconds – Bolt won in 19.30 setting another world record!!!
21 year old Bolt became the first man ever to break the world record in both the 100 and 200 at the same Olympics and the first since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win the sprint double.
Bolt had already won the race halfway through, but unlike his record-setting performance in the 100 four nights before, there was no animated celebrating until he crossed the line. He went hard all the way, looking at the clock down the stretch, leaning at the line, knowing that Michael Johnson’s revered mark was within reach.
Bolt had been accused of jogging through the line in his heats but the Jamaican said he would run flat out in the final and he delivered on that promise with fascination!
He blasted out of the blocks and was already well clear of the field going into the bend at the Bird’s Nest stadium.
The Olympic 100m champion accelerated away down the straight, gritting his teeth as he chased down gold and the record that Johnson set 12 years ago in Atlanta.
When he saw the number come up — a number that never has before been displayed in a human race — he raised his arms, then fell flat to his back, arms and legs outstretched, and basked in the roar of the Bird’s Nest crowd. Bolt now has three world records – this one, the 100 meter from Saturday and the one from Randall Island, New York in May when he broke the 100 record the first time.
A version of “Happy Birthday” played over the public-address system as he took off his gold shoes and wrapped the Jamaican flag around his shoulders like a scarf.
But while Spearmon was still celebrating on the track he learned he had been disqualified for running outside his lane; two hours later track officials accepted a U.S. protest that Martina did the same.
Instead American defending champion Shawn Crawford took silver with team-mate Walter Dix getting the bronze. Great Britain’s Christian Malcolm clocked 20.40 seconds for fifth place.
The last man to hold both the 100 meter and 200 meter simultaneously was none other than Donald Quarrie, the 1970s Jamaican star whom Bolt said he always wanted to pattern his running after.
Now Quarrie and everyone else — Lewis, Jesse Owens, any of the other six men to complete an Olympic 100-200 double — takes a back seat. Nobody other than Johnson had ever run a 200 in under 19.6 and nobody had broken 9.7 in the 100 before Beijing. Now Bolt has done both.
“Incredible. This guy is Superman II” Michael Johnson, now the former record-holder, said after the race. “He got an incredible start. Guys of 6-5 should not be able to start like that. It’s that long, massive stride. He’s eating up so much more track than others. He came in focused, knowing he would likely win the gold and he’s got the record.”
“You’re back there giving it everything you’ve got — it’s brutal,” said Kim Collins, the 2003 world champ who finished seventh. “He’s doing it and making it look so simple. Michael Johnson did it and it didn’t look that easy.”
Bolt’s victory made Jamaica 3-for-3 in the Olympic sprints, and the women’s 200 Thursday will include three Jamaicans with gold-medal potential — Veronica Campbell-Brown, Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart.
Bolt, who will celebrate his 22nd birthday in Beijing on Thursday, could win a third gold medal when he competes in the 4x100m relay.
“I have been dreaming about winning the 200m since I was yay high,” he added pointing to his knees.
“It means a lot to me – more than the 100m because I have loved this event since I was 15 and became the youngest winner of the world junior championships. Since that day it was dear to my heart.”
Happy Birthday Lightening!!!