Tuesday 22 October 2019

The fastest man on earth is human after all

Usain Bolt is disqualified at the World Championships

The stage was set for history to be made. The stadium in Daegu was packed for the 100m final at the World Athletics Championships. The atmosphere was electric, journalists and photographers were there in droves. The world was waiting to see how fast Usain Bolt would run.

And there was good reason to expect something special. In the run-up to the championships, Bolt was training harder than he ever had before, he looked in better shape, leaner and had shown brilliant form in the heats and the semi-final, always looking like he had plenty left in the tank. Defending his title was a certainty and breaking the world record seemed a likely possibility.

As he lined up at the start line, flanked by the fastest men in the world, he was his usual cocky self. The crowd were entertained by his showboating and the anticipation built with every passing moment. His tall, muscular, lean frame oozed calmness and a sub 9.58 time looked on the cards.

When he went into the blocks calmness descended, he bent his head and appeared focused, the time had come. The nervous crowd held their breaths, Bolt left the blocks in a flash of green and yellow, then the gun went off.

A gasp of disbelief erupted in the stands as the fastest man in the world realised his title was gone. He roared in frustration, pulled his shirt up to hide his face and then tore it off in disgust.

He looked up to the sky and walked to the side of the track. The mighty had fallen.

Bolt didn't wait for the officials to confirm what he already knew, he gestured to the crowd in an act of disbelief, before burying his face against the hoarding unable to watch the race.

His team-mate Yohan Blake went on to win in 9.92 well off Bolt's world record of 9.58. He warmed down then left the stadium without saying a word. On that day, Usain Bolt showed that he was in fact human.

Marie Crowe

Sunday Indo Sport

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