Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lightning Bolt

6'5" Usain Bolt made quite an impression on the track world with his easy victory in the Olympic 100-meter final.

The aptly named Bolt broke his own world record by finishing in 9.69 seconds, despite purposely slowing to celebrate in the final fourth of the race.

It is exceedingly difficult to imagine that Bolt could give Johnson's 12-year-old record of 19.32 seconds the same casual treatment in the final Wednesday. No one has seriously challenged Johnson's mark since he set it at the 1996 Olympics... For now, Bolt's personal best remains 19.67, but he clearly intends to beat that Wednesday...

More intriguing from a technical standpoint, there is the new paradigm theory, linked to Bolt's unusual 6-foot-5, or 1.96-meter, stature: three inches taller than Carl Lewis and two inches taller than Tommie Smith, the all-time greats to whom he is most often compared.

Both Boldon and Bailey see ample room for improvement in Bolt's early phase. "He's 21 years old and been really running 100 meters for four months," Bailey said. "He's raw." ...Both former sprinters can only marvel at the baseline speed Bolt displayed Saturday...

If NFL teams are looking for a Plaxico Burress-clone, they could do worse than start with Bolt.

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