Monday, August 17, 2009



Usain Bolt of Jamaica standing by his new world record diplay at Berlin yesterday. - Reuters pic

BERLIN, Aug 17 — Jamaica’s Usain Bolt obliterated his own 100 metres world record to win the world championship final in a breathtaking 9.58 seconds yesterday.

The world’s fastest man took a staggering 0.11 seconds off the 9.69 mark he set winning gold at the Beijing Olympics a year ago to the day, taking the event into a time zone undreamed of before his arrival on the scene.

American Tyson Gay, the 2007 world champion, ran the race of his life to finish second in 9.71, the third fastest time ever. Jamaican Asafa Powell claimed bronze in 9.84.

In contrast to the Olympic final, when he was able to coast over the line, Bolt saved his celebrations until the race was actually finished.

He was pushed a little harder this time, though his victory on the blue track at the Olympic Stadium was never in doubt as he completed the set of major medals at the distance.

The 100 metres record usually comes down by one or two hundredths of a second at a time, making the bite Bolt took out of it on Sunday simply astonishing.

“I don’t run for world records,” a relaxed Bolt, 22, told reporters. “The aim was just to come out here and execute because it was going to be a tough race.”

“I got a pretty good start, I was there at 20 metres and that was it.,” he said.

“I said anything could happen and it did. It was a big target but I got 9.58 and I am really happy with myself.”

Bolt will now pocket US$100,000 (RM351,758) from the International Association of Athletics Federations for his world record but that is a mere fraction of what sponsors will now be ready to pay for him.


Bolt, who false-started in the semi-final, made a flying getaway in the final and was clear after only 20 metres.

He crossed the line with one eye on the clock before pounding his chest and blowing kisses to the crowd.

He hugged his friend Powell and completed a lap of honour roared on by some 70,000 cheering fans.

“Today was perfect. This gave me a lot of energy. Especially the crowd,” Bolt said through the stadium microphone, immediately after the race. “I won’t forget it.”

Bolt, five days shy of his 23rd birthday, had pledged to wrestle the only major title still missing from his now perfect collection away from Gay, but had complained his preparation was plagued by rain and wind in the European meetings he ran.

He also had to undergo minor surgery to remove thorns from his foot in April, after stepping on them following a car crash.