BERLIN (Aug 16 2009) — At the IAAF Championships in Berlin, Jamaican super sprinter Usain Bolt destroyed his own 100m world record set at the Beijing Olympics last year by 0.11 seconds with just 41 strides. He lowered the record from 9.69 seconds to a remarkable 9.58 seconds and stunned the Berlin crowd in attendance because the 100m records is supposed to be broken in hundredths of a second, not tenths of a second! I don’t doubt he also stunned the rest of the world, whether or not you had high expectations for the guy.
Interestingly enough, Usain’s coach, Glenn Mills, predicted in January 2009 that Usain could run the 100m in 9.58 second (Daily Mail UK)
“I’ve heard my coach (Glen Mills) talk of 9.58 seconds (in the 100m),” said Bolt. “He also said it could be possible for me to go under 19 seconds in the 200m.”
Don’t expect that record to last too long, though, unless Usain gets injured or something. Usain still took time to look over to the clock at the left before finishing instead of going full tilt to the finish line. Check the video above. As well, these athletes peak between 26 to 33 years old. Usain will turn 23 on Aug 21. He also ran this race near sea level (about 40m above in Berlin). At altitude where the air is a bit thinner, and with a tail wind instead of a head wind (2.0m/s legal), who knows what he could do??? Incredible!
I’ll tell you one thing. There’s a lot of hype about a lot of people, but this guy lives up to it!
Congratulations, Usain! Now let’s get to that sub-19 200m your coach was talking about for the birthday present!
Defending world champion Tyson Gay of the United States came a distant second in a fast 9.71 seconds, lowering the American record from 9.77 seconds. It was the first time Usain and Tyson had met in a 100m race in over a year and this was possibly the most anticipated 100m final since 1988 Summer Olympics when Carl Lewis and the now disgraced Ben Johnson went head-to-head. Asafa Powell was third.
Wind = 0.9 m/s (legal) — NR = New Record — SB = Season Best
In the semi-finals, Usain ran a “casual” 9.89… and I mean casual. He looked like he was jogging it in, and that’s no exaggeration. By contrast, Tyson Gay ran a huge effort full of tension in semi-final 2 only to win it in 9.93 seconds. Usain Bolt only takes 40-41 strides to cover the 100m, with a stride length of about 2.7 to 3 metres (9-10 feeth) in full flight mid-race. That would be mid-race because he hasn’t ran full flight across the finish time in a big race for a while, I don’t imagine. Usain is 6’5″, very tall by sprinting standard, but with his high turnover that he can put to his huge stride length, there’s not anybody who can come close to matching what he can do right now. Might he change the profile of athletes to be recruited and/or developed for sprinting in the future? The short height profile seems to have maxxed out.