Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Riley: 200m conditions were unfavourable for record

Published:Saturday | August 20, 2016 | 8:00 AMLivingston Scott
Usain Bolt (right) crosses the line to win the gold medal in the men's 200-metre final ahead of third placed Christophe Lemaitre of France at the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Thursday night.
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The conditions were just not favourable for Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt to accomplish his goal of breaking his own 200 metres record at the 31st Olympiad in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, on Thursday night.

According to highly respected Excelsior track and field coach, David Riley, breaking records require suitable conditions and that was just not available on Thursday.

A light drizzle before the race and even a small head wind which the athletes ran into posed some difficulties, but Bolt put all those unfavourable conditions behind him to run a blistering 19.78 seconds to win his third successive men's Olympic 200 metres gold medal.

"Records actually need some help. You need a tail-wind, you need a fast track, and you need to be feeling in a flowing state. You can't be tight, and I don't think those conditions existed to help an ageing Bolt beat his younger self," Riley analysed.

"I am not surprised, but it's a statement to him that his record is not easily broken, not even by him, so that should give him some comfort," he stated.

However, he believes the former William Knibb High student, who turns 30 tomorrow, still has it in him to go below the 19.19 world mark he established in Berlin in 2009.

"Maybe if he focuses on it, possibly. But the record before that was there for a long time, and before Michael Johnson broke it, the mark was there for a long time," he noted.

Meanwhile, the experienced coach thought all three 400m female hurdles finalists - Ristananna Tracey, Leah Nugent and Janieve Russell - gave their best and could have done nothing more.

"Tracey and Nugent ran their personal best times, so you couldn't require them to do better than that.

"The only person who didn't get a personal best was Russell, and a personal best for her wouldn't even give her bronze. She (Russell) was not 100 per cent, and at 90 per cent, she just can't beat the world. She would have to be at 100 per cent to attempt to beat the world. But the race was fast. We just got beaten," he added.