August 5, 2012
Usain Bolt cruises to gold in men's 100M
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
LONDON - The fastest man in the world is back. In a flash.
Or a Lightning Bolt.
Yes, Usain Bolt won Olympic gold here at Olympic Stadium, defending the title he won in breakout fashion four years ago in Beijing. The Jamaican speedball beat a star-studded field of sprinters - including countryman and recent nemesis Yohan Blake - and broke his Olympic record with a winning time of 9.63. The clocking didn’t set Bolt’s own world record of 9.58, but it was the second fastest ever.
Running with determination from start to finish - despite a mildly sloppy start - Bolt glanced to his left as he approached the finish then raised his arms in triumph as he crossed the wire.
“When it comes to (the big races), I know what I need to do, I know I have great talent,” Bolt said when asked about the doubters that thought he'd be all out to repeat. “All people can do is talk. When it comes to the championship, it’s all about business for me and I brought it.”
Bolt admitted he started slow, but it was by design to avoid the false start that had him disqualified from last year’s world championship.
“I was slightly worried about the start, I didn’t want to false start again,” Blake said. “I sat in the blocks. But the best part of the race for me is the end. That’s where I rule. I stopped worrying about the start and executed.”
While initially disappointed, Blake seemed thrilled with his silver to his countryman.
“Now that I’ve been to this level, I know what it takes,” said Blake. “He’s the fastest man in the world and now that I’ve been to my first Olympics, I know what it’s all about.”
Blake finished second while American Justin Gatlin won the bronze.
Only one of the eight finalists didn’t run under 10 seconds - and that was Asafa Powell who pulled up with an apparent injury midway through the race.
Bolt overcame some doubts over the bast year. In 2011, he was disqualified from the world championship for a false start and earlier this year, he was defeated by his countryman, Yohan Blake, in the Jamaican Olympic trials.
As expected, the dramatic stage was set after three high-speed semi-finals loaded with the world’s top sprinters was contested earlier in the night.
Bolt made his case with a win in 9.87 victory in his, one with his trademark throttling down for th closing strides of the race. In fact for the past 7-10 strides he was barely exerting himself at all.
Not to be outdone, Blake - the man who likes to call himself the Beast - ran a little harder to get to the wire slightly faster in 9.85, .05 seconds faster than American Tyson Gay.
The first of three semis - in which the top two plus the next two fastest times advanced to the final to be raced here later tonight - was the fastest.
American Justin Gatlin got the semis started off in style with a blistering 9.82 effort for an easy win over Churandy Martina of the Netherlands who was second to guarantee a spot in the final.
“I went out there to devastate and dominate the first half of the race and come through at the end,” said Gatlin, who served notice he intends to be a factor in the final. “I just wanted to put something out there.”
If there was a surprise in the first heat it was that the third Jamaican contender, Powell finished third, albeit in a quick 9.94 that was good enough to get him through. Powell eased early as well, obviously thinking he was going to finish in the top two.