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Posts Tagged ‘Usain Bolt’

Bolt to run 200 at World Athletics Final

Posted by Dresonic on September 2, 2009

MONACO (AP) – Usain Bolt has confirmed that he will run the 200 metres at the IAAF World Athletics Final next month in Greece, the international athletics federation said yesterday.

BOLT… shattered world records in the 100 and 200 metres at the World Championships earlier this month

The Jamaican sprinter shattered world records in the 100 and 200 metres at the World Championships earlier this month. He clocked 9.58 in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 to improve the times he set in winning gold medals at last year’s Beijing Olympics.

Bolt contested the 200 metres at three meetings this season and was not automatically qualified for the race, which will take place on September 13 in Thessaloniki, Greece.

“But as per the qualifying regulations the eighth place is at the discretion of the IAAF,” the international federation said in a statement.

Bolt last competed in the world final in 2006 when he came third in the 200 with a time of 20.10 seconds in Stuttgart.

Posted in Sports, Track&Field | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Bolt tin the Money

Posted by Dresonic on September 2, 2009

MONTE-CARLO, Monaco (CMC) – Jamaica’s phenomenal World and Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is set to enjoy a whopping US$500,000 payday for competing in the 100 metres in South Korea later this month.

Bolt… has been labelled the greatest sprinter of all time

Bolt is expected to tackle the shorter sprint on September 25 at the Daegu Pre-Championships Meeting.

Moon Dong-hoo, vice-president of the organising committee for the 2011 Daegu IAAF World Championships in Athletics, said Bolt confirmed that he will race in Daegu and the details are now being worked out for his 100-metre appearance.

In Berlin, Bolt shattered his own world record by 0.11 seconds with a time of 9.58 seconds.

The Daegu organising committee did not disclose his payment, but media reports suggest Bolt is likely to receive US$500,000 for the race.

The Daegu Meeting is expected to attract 200 athletes from 30 nations competing in 16 track and field events.
Meanwhile, Bolt has confirmed that he will also be racing at the IAAF World Athletics Final in Greece this month.

Bolt, who brilliantly won the sprint double – both in world record times – at the IAAF World Championship in Germany last month, is set to run the 200 metres at the September 12-13 World of Athletics Final in Thessaloniki.

Organisers of the IAAF World Athletics Final confirmed Monday that the sprint giant will race in the half-lap sprint on the second day of the final on Sunday, September 13.

Bolt has contested only three 200-metre events so far this year including his Berlin World Championship run last month in an astounding 19.19 seconds, erasing his own world mark of 19.30 he posted in his Olympic victory in Beijing a year earlier.

Bolt last competed in the World Athletics Final in 2006 when he came third in 20.10 seconds in Stuttgart, Germany.

Already being labelled the greatest sprinter of all time, the 23-year-old Bolt is expected to compete in Shanghai after the World Athletics Final before travelling to Daegu.

In the meantime, the projected clash between Bolt and the American Tyson Gay at the Brussels Golden League Meeting on Friday will no longer happen.

Bolt has decided to run the 200 metres and Gay is booked for the 100 metres at the last Golden League meet of the season.

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Bolt Confident for Beijing Olympics – good sign

Posted by Dresonic on August 1, 2008

Bolt, who two months ago supplanted Powell as the world record-holder in the 100 metres at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, says he is not surprised at his recent success.

“Well things have been coming together for a long while now so I’m not really surprised,” said Bolt, who dominated his career as a junior.
“I’ve been doing well over the years. I guess it’s just my time now I would say.”

Bolt leads the world in the 100 metres with his world-record run of 9.72 seconds and the 200 metres with a career-best and national record of 19.67 seconds.

He is expected to leave Beijing with at least one individual gold medal and two if he runs the sprint double. But despite the huge expectations, the lanky sprinter says he feels no pressure.

“The only way you are under pressure is [if] you put yourself under pressure,” said the runner nicknamed ‘The Lightning Bolt’.

“I never put myself under any form of pressure because I know every time I go out there I do my best at all times.

“I’m not going out there to lie down and I know they (my challengers) are not doing that either. I am just really going out there to do my thing.”

Last Saturday Bolt landed yet another world-class performance in a slight head wind to win the 200 metres at the London Grand Prix.

The 19.76 seconds winning performance was his third fastest ever half-lap, but was accomplished with sanguine ease.

“I went out with a plan and that’s what I did. I just went out there to do some work on my 200 metres because I haven’t done a lot on this race,” Bolt said.

Only four other men have ever gone faster than Bolt’s 19.67, but only one, American Wallace Spearmon, will line up in the event in Beijing next month.

Posted in Asafa Powell, International, Jamaica, News, Olympics 2008, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field, Usain Bolt | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Beijing 2008 – Usain Bolt Q&A

Posted by Dresonic on July 1, 2008

A question and answer session with world 100 metre record holder and Puma poster boy Usain Bolt.

1206 200m bolt - 0

The Jamaican 200 metre specialist surprisingly broke compatriot Asafa Powell‘s 9.74 second record with a 7.72 run on May 31st and, ahead of a potential Olympic showdown with double world champion Tyson Gay in Beijing, he spoke of his sporting hero and love of Jamaican food.

Q. What’s the best stadium in the World to run in?

A. Jamaica Stadium

Q. Did you have a sprint hero you looked up to growing up?

A. Michael Johnson

Q. Who is the greatest sprinter of all-time?

A. Michael Johnson

Q. What’s the most impressive sprint performance ever?

A. Michael Johnson’s 200m world record

Q. If you weren’t a track star what would you be?

A. A cricketer

Q. What’s the proudest moment in Jamaican sprinting history?

A. Asafa Powell’s world record run of 9.74

Q. Besides the competition, what are you looking forward to most in Beijing?

A. Probably the food Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Entertainment, International, Jamaica, News, Olympics 2008, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

How tiny Jamaica develops so many champion sprinters

Posted by Dresonic on June 28, 2008

– As late afternoon trade winds drift into Kingston’s National Stadium, the world’s fastest man ambles back to his starting blocks.

Usain Bolt’s performance in this training session is less than lighting-fast, however, and it fails to impress his coach, Glen Mills. “Make sure you do them good, otherwise you’ll do them tomorrow morning – early,” he barks.

A month ago, Mr. Bolt lived up to his name by breaking countryman Asafa Powell’s world record in the 100-meter dash. The two hold the five fastest recognized times in the event and will go head-to-head this weekend in Jamaica’s Olympic trials.

Yet these men are just two of dozens of top-flight Jamaican sprinters who are poised to put the tiny island nation on the map in the same way Kenyans and Ethiopians are known to dominate long-distance running. Jamaica’s Olympic track team is so deep in talent that these trials will be like watching American NBA stars vie for a spot on ™basketball’s famous Dream Team.

How does a poor Caribbean country of less than 3 million people produce such athletic riches? Improved coaching and a new system to develop raw talent at home have combined with a tradition of seeing sprinting as an inexpensive ticket out of poverty, observers say.

“Where we are today is [like] a flower,” says Anthony Davis, the sports director at Jamaica’s University of Technology (UTECH), whose programs and facilities helped shape some of Jamaica’s finest runners, including Mr. Powell and Bolt. “You’d have had to plant a seed long ago to get where we are today.”

And plant they did.

A little more than 30 years ago, former world-record sprinter Dennis Johnson decided to take what he’d learned at San Jose State University in the 1960s and set up a competitive, US-style college athletic program here in his home country. The goal: produce world-class athletes, especially track stars.

At the time, most considered this crazy talk.

Jamaica had long produced some of the world’s top high school track athletes, but then they left the island. There was no place in this former British colony’s college system for them. Postsecondary education is based on an older British model in which sports are merely a recreational break from the rigors of academia. The only hope of continuing track after high school was to get a scholarship to a foreign university.

Today, Jamaican sprinters still leave, and pad many NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) track rosters.

“In Louisiana, at a high school track meet, we’ll find maybe one or two athletes that could be good enough for [Louisiana State University’s track program],” says Dennis Shaver, head track coach of the 2008 NCAA championship LSU track team. “[But] in Jamaica, there are probably 50 women ready to fit right into the program every year.”

“Jamaicans have played a significant role in the 31 track and field championships we’ve won over the years,” he says, adding that Jamaica will be “very competitive in Beijing.”

Competing in the top US schools was, and is, a fast track out of poverty. The problem, as Mr. Johnson saw it, was that too many Jamaicans never came back home, and some even ran for other Olympic teams. (Donovan Bailey of Canada and Linford Christie of Britain are two examples of Jamaican-born Olympic champions.)

That’s why Johnson started a sports program at a two-year vocational college here, and that later became UTECH, a four-year college. Through Johnson’s work, which has since passed to Mr. Davis, the program now has 280 student athletes and houses the top professional track teams in Jamaica.

By US standards, the training facilities are second class. Jamaica’s top sprinters cram into UTECH’s tiny gym to pump rusty weights, and they often practice on the school’s basic grass track.

“We have to be creative, because we don’t have the resources,” says Davis, explaining that the lanes of the track are marked with diesel and burned because the school can’t afford the machine that lays down chalk lines every week or so. “We had a choice: complain about the resources and do nothing or work with what we have.”

Davis is pushing to attract more sponsors for UTECH’s programs. The British sports drink company Lucozade now offers two full track scholarships to UTECH, and Davis is hoping that success in Beijing will lead to funding for scoreboards and an indoor track surface. And he knows right where he’d put a new athletic center, if he ever gets the money. “We want someday to be the sports center of the Caribbean,” he says.

But UTECH’s program is only part of the reason for Jamaica’s sprinting prowess. “Coaches have played a very important role and are still playing an important role,” says Herb Elliot, a Jamaican member of the International Amateur Athletics Federation’s Medical and Anti-Doping Commission. “NCAA scouts come here in droves to recruit, but our athletes often come back [from four years at US universities] tired and mediocre,” says Mr. Elliot.

Among the most effective Jamaican coaches today is Powell’s coach, Stephen Francis, who founded the Maximizing Velocity and Power (MVP) team in 1999 after getting his MBA from the University of Michigan. “My background is different from most coaches, who were former athletes,” says the rotund Mr. Francis, explaining that the Jamaican track establishment did not appreciate his maverick style.

“My philosophy is based on doing things the hard way,” he says. “We don’t recruit superstars.” He looks for latent talent and chooses coachable sprinters who don’t have supersized egos.

Brigitte Foster-Hylton is one of Francis’s first success stories. When she started working with him in 1999, most didn’t see her potential. But she’s cut more than half a minute off her time in the 100-meter hurdles and won bronze in the event at the 2005 World Championships.

Powell – who says in a matter-of-fact manner that he is still the world’s fastest man despite Bolt’s record run – is another Francis success story.

Powell struggled as the youngest of six siblings growing up in the Jamaican countryside. He was a good sprinter in high school, but not among Jamaica’s very best. A few years ago, one brother was shot to death in a New York cab and another died of a heart attack. The tragedies might have derailed some athletes.

Both of his parents are pastors and he credits a strict upbringing for his focus. “I couldn’t miss one day in church and my mom and dad still call to see if I’m going to church,” he says. “None of this would’ve been possible without God, and I pray to him each and every day. But I know that God helps those who help themselves, so I try to help myself.”

He says he’s ready to win the Olympic gold medal that eluded him four years ago.

But given the recent convictions and confessions of steroid use by track and field athletes, some skeptics question the success of Jamaican sprinters. There have been no recent cases of Jamaicans caught using performance-enhancing drugs. “We are far in advance of the US record for [preventing] doping,” says Elliot, who’s the top enforcement official in Jamaica. “We preach, cajole, and test,” he says. Jamaica makes its athletes available for sudden testing 24/7.

Besides, Elliot says, Jamaica won’t tolerate cheats. “Sports is such a part of our culture that the disgrace [of doping] is so great that the Jamaicans that live here wouldn’t even consider it.”

For now, Jamaicans are reveling in having the world’s two fastest men heading into the Beijing Olympics.

“In the sprints, we’re as good as any,” says Fitz Coleman, a technical coach on Bolt’s team who is widely regarded as one of Jamaica’s best hurdles coaches. “In fact, we just might be the measuring stick at this point in time.”

Another reason for Jamaicans’ success: their attitude, according to Mr. Coleman. “We genuinely believe that we’ll conquer,” he says. “It’s a mindset. We’re small and we’re poor, but we believe in ourselves.”

Posted in Asafa Powell, Caribbean, Dresonic Stories, Entertainment, Health, International, Jamaica, Lifestyle, News, Sports, Sports News, Track&Field | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »