Quarrie, Stewart lavish praise on Usain Bolt’s earth-shattering 9.76sec run
BY KAYON RAYNOR Senior staff reporter email@example.com
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
DONALD Quarrie and Raymond Stewart, two of Jamaica’s best ever sprinters, have described Usain Bolt’s 9.76-second performance last Saturday as unbelievable.
Usain Bolt reacts after his blistering 9.76-second performance in the 100 metres at the Jamaica International Invitational Meet at the National Stadium on Satuday night. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)
Quarrie, the 1976 Montreal Olympic 200-metre gold medallist, yesterday told the Observer that Bolt surprised everyone in attendance at the fifth staging of the Jamaica International Invitational Meet.
“No one expected it,” Quarrie said. “My thing was let’s hope he can run under 10 seconds, so had he ran even 9.98, I would have been very pleased (but) he ran exceptionally well and I think it just went through the roof with the crowd, everyone was happy, everyone was surprised and we are looking forward to him doing that sort of performance again outside of Jamaica,” added Quarrie, who served as athlete’s liaison for the event, which is one of a select group of Area meetings where points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on September 13-14 in Stuttgart.
Stewart, the 1987 World Championships silver medallist in Rome, said Bolt looked pretty good from start to finish. “The acceleration was real clean in terms of his last 40 metres and I think right now he’s telling us that, if you have two guys back home that can run 9.76, I mean, who to tell what the next generation of kids can do,” Stewart told the Observer from Texas, yesterday, having seen a video clip of the race.
“…and I think if Bolt can hold it up all the way to the Olympics it will be great,” he added, noting that Mills, his (Stewart’s) former coach, deserves a lot of respect, “because he continues to do a good job”.
Bolt stunned the world when he posted 9.76secs - the second fastest time in history - shaving 0.27secs off his previous life-time best of 10.03. Quarrie believes Bolt can improve in his upcoming competitions.
“I think it’s how you prepare for those, you don’t dwell on what you have done, but you keep building on what you have done, trying to maintain that standard and hope that you can put together better races in your other events and even a better race in the 100m because the capability of him running fast in there, the ability to run fast in the 200m will be there, but at the same time, executing around the curve (and) running is most important in the 200m,” reasoned Quarrie, who won the sprint double at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Stewart concurs with Quarrie on Bolt’s exploits, a distance for which the 20-year-old established the national record of 19.75 last season. “As far as I can see that top end speed that he has towards the end, anything is possible at this point…I can’t really predict a world record, but I know he can run 19 and change.whatever the change is, it’s for us to see when that time comes,” Stewart posited.
Last year Quarrie told this newspaper that Bolt, who clocked 45.35 at the age of 16, could be one of the best quarter-milers in the world - a point that he still holds. “I think he still has the ability to run a fantastic 400 and what it (9.76sec) has done now, is widen his range to being able to run a good 100m, a 200m and the 400m at the highest level of track and field,” Quarrie affirmed.