BOLT TALKS OLYMPIC 200M - 19April04-

:stuck_out_tongue: KINGSTON, April 19 (AFP) - When the Jamaican trackteam begin their quest for medals later this year at theAthens Olympic Games, all eyes will be on one of themost talented male athlete to emerge from this island,Usain Bolt.
The 17-year-old Bolt, who broke the world junior 200metres record two years ago, ran an amazing 19.93seconds to the win the Carfta Games 200 metres in theBahamas a week ago. He is excited about the prospect ofbeing the youngest Olympic 200 metres champion.
It would be nice to be Olympic 200 metres championat my age, but I don't want to harp too much on that. Ijust want to continue doing well on the track and theresults will come my way.'' Bolt is busy preparing for the Olympic Games. Right now I am doing a lot of strength work, goinginto the gym amd trying to get my upper body in shape. Iam trying to say fit and to the right things.’’
Bolt created controversy in Jamaica last year when asafter beating all the seniors in the 200 metres at theNational Trials for the World Championships.
The Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association decided notto allow the teenage sensation to run, citing his age aninexperience and reasons to leave him out of the squad,much to the dismay of the track and field fraternity inthe country.
``I would have loved to participate at the WorldChampionships,’’ said Bolt.


I hope he gets used to the rounds. That is what kills alot of young athletes. The are burnt out by the time they get to the final. IF they make it. (obea Moore).

This kid will be below 19.93 by the olympics, heats should be training runs for him (ie 20.80 in heats will be 95%, 20.30 run in semis or quarters will be 97%).

Bolt - On the threshold of GREATNESS

Hubert Lawrence, Observer writer
Saturday, April 17, 2004

LIKE LIGHTNING: Usain Bolt romping to victory in a new Junior World record 19.93 seconds over 200 metres in Bermuda on Sunday.

Say the name Usain Bolt and the likely reaction is a combination of amazement and admiration. His performances have met the highest expectations, leaving just one question - how will Bolt fare against the big boys and will he be great?

At the Carifta Games in Bermuda, Bolt provided a preview of the answer. He zoomed to a 200-metre time of 19.93 seconds. That improved the world junior record he shared with American Roy Martin from 20.13 seconds. The new mark is the second fastest time ever by a Jamaican.

This staggering performance cements him as the favourite to defend his World Junior 200-metre title and makes him a strong contender for a medal at the Olympics.

It should be easy for him to speed away from his junior rivals in Italy in July. A repeat World Junior win would put him in a rare group of two-time winners with Gillian Russell, 100-metre hurdles winner in 1990 and 1992.

He has impressive credentials. He is the world’s fastest ever at age 15 with the 20.58-second clocking that won him the 2002 World Junior gold in Kingston. He is also the fastest ever at age 16 and 17 with his two world junior records. His trophy case has gold medals from the World Junior, World Youth and Pan-Am Junior meets and is filled with numerous Carifta and CAC Junior honours.

So it goes without saying that he is the best junior in the world at 200 metres. Scarily enough, he is a junior in 2005 as well.

Bolt made a good start to his senior career last year by winning the Jamaican 200-metre national title. Should he qualify for the Jamaican Olympic team by performing well at the National Championships, he will face a formidable crew of sprinters in Athens.

Of the 21 sprinters with times better than Bolt’s world junior record, only 10 remain in active competition. They are Frank Fredericks (19.68), Ato Boldon (19.77), Francis Obikwelu (19.84), John Capel (19.85), Shawn Crawford (19.86 at high altitude), Kostadinos Kederis (19.85), Maurice Greene (19.86), Justin Gatlin (19.86), JJ Johnson (19.88) and Claudinei Da Silva (19.89). Fredericks is winding down his great career. Greene is likely to focus on defending his Olympic 100 title and da Silva hasn’t shown great form in several seasons.

Kederis, the reigning Olympic 200 champion, will be on his home turf in Athens. He had a clear margin over Jamaica’s Williams and joint bronze medallists Kim Collins and Crawford in the 2001 World Championships. Briton Christian Malcolm, the 1998 World Junior Champion in the 100 and 200, was in the 2000 Olympic and the 2001 World 200-metre finals.

The Greek missed the 2003 World Championships through injury and Capel, the American Olympic finalist, won the 200 over his compatriot Darvis Patton and the Japanese speedster Shingo Suetsugu. The danger man is Stephane Buckland of Mauritius who sprinted impressively into the 2001 and 2003 finals.

Bolt turns 18 during the Olympics and lacks the experience of someone like Boldon who was a youngster at his first Olympics in 1992. Most critically, he will have to learn how to spread his efforts across four rounds of competition. His latest world junior record was set in a meet with no heats, quarter-finals or semi-finals. At the Pan-Am Junior Championship, his 20.13 world junior record equalling time came in a meet with just heats and a final.

The story is the same for almost all the meets where he has run fast. Otherwise, he has been able to run very easily in the early rounds, while saving energy for the finals. His best performance in a multi-round competition came at VMBS Champs 2003, where he blazed times of 45.35 seconds for 400 metres and 20.25 seconds in his sixth and seventh races in a four-day period.

Though his Champs heat and semi-final times were modest from a world-class perspective, the indication is that a well-prepared Bolt may be able to survive the Olympic 200-metre rounds if he measures his efforts from race to race and concentrates.

If he conquers these obstacles, he will have a chance to join Don Quarrie and Williams as the Jamaican standard bearers in the men’s 200 metres. Just making the Olympic final would put him in elite company. That achievement would place him alongside Les Laing (1948 and 1952), Herb McKenley (1952), Mike Fray (1968) and Colin Bradford (1976).

In a nation used to success, that achievement alone would leave everyone cold. Many think he will match Quarrie’s 1976 gold medal performance with a victory in Athens and surpass Williams’ silver at the World Championships in 2001.

Quarrie is one of history’s best 200 sprinters with a 1980 Olympic bronze and two gold medals each in the event at the Commonwealth and Pan-Am Games. His first Commonwealth win was accomplished in the national junior record time of 20.56 seconds.

DQ’ was acknowledged as the world’s best 200 sprinter for the decade 1970 to 1980. During that period, Quarrie set or equalled world records at 200 metres and 220 yards and still holds the Jamaican record of 19.86 seconds, the time he ran to win the 1971 Pan-Am Games.

By almost any measure, Michael Johnson is the best 200 runner ever to walk the earth. Hisworld record is unthinkable at 19.32 seconds and his best 10 times for the 200 metres average 19.744 seconds. He set the world record in winning the 1996 Olympics and has taken two World titles.

Bolt has a long way to go before he matches the accomplishments of the likes of ‘DQ’, Johnson, and the event’s other top stars. These include Carl Lewis, Pietro Mennea, Calvin Smith, Fredericks and Boldon. Lewis won the event in 1984 and took the silver in 1988 with a world bronze in 1993. Mennea took the bronze in 1972 and gold in 1980. Smith was world champion in 1983 and 1987. 1992/1996 Olympic silver medallist Fredericks won the 1993 World title and two Commonwealth titles. Boldon, a world junior champion in 1992, was world champion in 1997 and has two Olympic medals - bronze in 1996 and silver in 2000.

Bolt’s other talents and his height may take him away from the 200 metres. At some point, his leg length may hamper his progress around the curve and push him into the 400 metres.
Everyone present at VMBS Champs 2003 witnessed an unveiling of his huge potential in the one-lap event. His winning time of 45.35 wasn’t far from Davian Clarke’s national junior record of 45.21 seconds.

He eased down in the last 50 metres of that Class 1 Champs race. With his new weight training regime and his speed, he could do great things in that event. A switch to the 400, at the right time, might even help him to avoid the stresses of non-stop sprinting.

For now, it seems clear that Bolt will concentrate on the 200 metres. A repeat win in the World Junior 200 would be a unique achievement and an Olympic medal, of any colour, would be the start of what we all hope will be a splendid international career.

Bolt’s age is a worry for track insiders. When Quarrie won gold in 1976, the bronze was taken by 17 year-old Dwayne Evans of the USA. Evans never matched his best time of that year - 20.22 seconds - during his career. In the age of professional sport, longevity isn’t quite as important as it used to be. If Bolt runs brilliantly between now and 2008, he can change the face of sprinting and earn the benefits that will accrue.

In 2008, he will be 22 years old. By then, Usain Bolt may have done enough to move forward from the threshold of greatness to a secure place in sporting history. His amazing performances have dazzled us all, waiting for more bolts of lightning.

He is still a kid. I dont care how fast he is. Is his mind ready for that kind of pressure against Pro Athletes? Is his body ready to run that fast that many times? Im not saying he cant win, but dont be surprised if he doesnt. Dont be suprised if he dosent even make to the finals. Remember Obea Moore.

Kenderis has Ice in his blood but Usain’s going to be really excited even in the first round. He’ll probably lose half of his adrenalin in the opening ceremony.