Golden redemption - Bolt blazes to 200 gold
By Yoon Chul
DAEGU — Reconfirming his superiority as the world’s best sprinter Usain Bolt won gold in the 200 meters at the 13th IAAF World Championships in Daegu, Saturday.
Bolt’s time was the world’s fourth fastest at 19.40 seconds, just .21 seconds slower than the world record he himself set in Berlin two years ago.
“I was close to the world record,” Bolt said at a press conference held after his win. “Me, I wasn’t in the best of shape, so I wasn’t expecting a world record. For me to come here and do 19. 4 was a wonderful achievement.”
The Jamaican looked relaxed at the start line for the 200, showing his usual showmanship. But he was careful and serious from start to finish — he was the slowest to react to the start and gritted his teeth to power through to the end.
“I ran as hard as possible.”
The reigning world and Olympic champion had to waitsix days to prove his prowess due to a sensational disqualification for a false start in the 100-meter final last Sunday. He blamed “anxiety,” because he was just so ready to run.
Walter Dix of the United States and Christophe Lemaitre of France clocked in at 19.70 and 19.80 for silver and bronze, respectively.
Dix and Lemaitre also showed a great race setting their season’s best and national records, respectively, but they weren’t enough to beat the 25-year-old Jamaican.
Up to Saturday, there were only three new championships records in Daegu, and Bolt’s run in the men’s 200 meters was long awaited. The 200 is his favorite event, he said, having started out in it before he burst on the world scene in the 100 meters in 2008.
Bolt also admitted it was the first time to run in lane three and it might have reduce the record because of tightness at the end of the corner before the final stretch.
“Personally, I think I would’ve been a little bit faster (if I was in lane five or six) because it’s more fluent.”
“It was a little bit difficult for me, I had to run a more technical race and I gave my all. It was perfect technique but it’s all I had,” Bolt said.
He said that he was glad to see the 200 grow into a more competitive event.
“I feel great. I’m still the best,” said Bolt elated at the fully occupied stadium. “I made a mistake in the 100m but I would have won it.”
The fans, in every one of the 45,000 seats in the stands, could feel the confidence of the world fastest sprinter.
While he was waiting to be introduced at the track he exchanged fist-bumps with his volunteers. The Jamaican sprinter expressed the same assurance and expectations for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.
“The Olympics are going to be a big thing for me, I’m going to be really serious,” Bolt said.