BERLIN — Usain Bolt was honored by the city of Berlin by receiving an original segment of the Berlin Wall — nearly three tons of it.
The Jamaican sprinter, who broke world records in winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters, was presented with the piece of wall at a small ceremony Sunday, the final day of the world championships.
The 12-foot high section will be delivered to Bolt’s training camp in Jamaica.
The piece of the wall, which divided communist East Berlin from West Berlin between 1961 and 1989, is decorated with a life-size painting of Bolt running on the blue track of the Olympic stadium and the words “NEW WR” — new world record. Bolt set a world record in the 100 at 9.58 seconds and 19.19 in the 200.
“I will never forget Berlin,” Bolt said at the ceremony. “Ich bin ein Berlino.”
The bear mascot of the championships is called Berlino, while the phrase “ich bin ein Berliner” was used by former President John F. Kennedy during a visit to West Berlin.
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit said Bolt had shown that “one can tear down walls that had been considered as insurmountable.”
The Berlin Wall came down in 1989, as communism was collapsing in Eastern Europe.
Interesting blog post from Jimson Lee at speedendurance.com, who has broken down the 10m split times from both Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt over their most recent major meets.
[edit in: another excellent biomechanical analysis of Bolt’s potential here].
Compare Bolt’s last 10m from Beijing (1.73 sec) vs. his last 10m in Berlin (1.66 sec). Chased by Tyson Gay, Bolt actually ran through the last phase of the race this time.
Usain Bolt Splits – 9.69 vs 9.58 – Can He Run Faster?
August 17, 2009 by Jimson Lee
Honestly, I didn’t expect Usain Bolt to run sub 9.60.
I felt a WR was imminent after watching his SF, and I knew his chest thumping slowdown in Beijing showed me he could run low 9.60.
But a 9.58?
Now, in all fairness, I added Tyson Gay’s splits, just to show what it will take to beat Usain Bolt. I mentioned his 9.68 +4.1 wind aided race winning the 2008 USATF Olympic Trials in a previous post.
You can also thank Tyson Gay for making Bolt push though the race. Bolt came to Berlin to win. The World Record was bonus.
Read the entire article here
A feature I produced last year before the Beijing Games. It’s good to see Tyson come through with a personal best of 9.71 today in Berlin at the World Championships. Hard to imagine a sprinter running 9.71 and losing by over 1/10 of a second.
Great to see the favourites finish 1-2-3. Bolt, Gay, and Powell have all dominated world sprinting over the last quadrennial, and they came through in the most competitive 100m final in history. This was a far more competitive test for Usain Bolt than Beijing was. Usain Bolt has dropped the WR from 9.74 to 9.58 in just over a year. That’s a .16 second improvement, completely unheard of over 100m. Beautiful sprinting yes, but come on.
Bolt sets new world record in men’s 100 metres
CANWEST NEWS SERVICE
AUGUST 16, 2009 1:22 PM
Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the line to win the gold medal in the men’s 100 Metres Final during day two of the 12th IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Bolt set a new World Record of 9.58 seconds.
Photograph by: Andy Lyons, Getty
Usain Bolt became the first man to run the 100 metres in under 9.6 seconds Sunday when he set a new world record at the IAAF world track and field championships in Berlin.
The Jamaican sprinter stopped the clock in an astonishing 9.58 seconds, besting his previous mark of 9.69 set at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. American Tyson Gay was second in 9.71 and Jamaica’s Asafa Powell was third in 9.84.
Read entire article here.
Here’s an article about fast up-and-coming Jared Connaughton, a Canadian Olympic sprinter we profiled last summer during the Beijing Olympics.
Connaughton in his ready-to-run phase
Olympic sprint star Usain Bolt of Jamaica is the focus to today’s Festival of Excellence in Toronto, but Jared Connaughton of New Haven, P.E.I., understands it goes with the territory.
“It’s been pretty hectic, the media attention and hype around Bolt. I’m in the phase where I’m ready to run,” Connaughton, who will race against Bolt in the 100 metres, told The Guardian from Toronto on Wednesday. “This is by far the biggest festival in Canada (as far as media goes). It’s the big thing in town. We kind of caught up in all of this, but it’s part of the package.”
Running, however, is Connaughton’s main focus.
An appearance in the 200-metre sprint semifinals at the Beijing Olympics last August bolted him to national prominence and Connaughton, who ran a Canadian-high 10.15 in the 100 last year, knows a good race tonight keeps that profile up.