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Big Bad BOLT - History-making sprinter dominates in Beijing

Published:Thursday | August 27, 2015 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe


We've seen it before - when the lights shine brightest, so does Usain Bolt.

It's like a movie that you keep watching over and over despite knowing how it ends. Regardless of the occasional plots and subplots, in the end, Bolt always wins - but by God, it always entertains!

The Jamaican speedster retained his 200m crown, claiming his fourth World Championships 200m title and his third sprint double - both unmatched feats - in a manner that left many scratching their heads as to the ease with which Bolt, not yet at his best, embarrassed the hottest sprinter in the last two years, Justin Gatlin.

Bolt's win pushed Jamaica's medal tally at these 15th IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, to five - three gold and two bronze, with Shericka Jackson's well-timed 400m bronze medal being the other highlight of the day.

In the men's 200m final - a much-anticipated sequel to Sunday's 100m finale, which Bolt bagged - both the Jamaican and his nemesis Justin Gatlin (USA) probably burnt a few holes in the Bird's Nest track, racing out of the starting blocks to a scorching first 120m before Bolt, the now 10-time World Championships gold medallist, stepped a little harder on the gas pedal, showing his class and leaving Gatlin for dead.

"I gave it everything, I came out off the turn as hard as I could but he (Bolt) was still there," Gatlin shrugged.


A knowing smile and a bit of 'showBOLTing' near the line - like he did in the same stadium seven years ago on his way to Olympic 100m gold - and just like that, credits were rolling. The show was over. The hero stood tall.

The winning time for Bolt was 19.55 seconds - the fastest time recorded this year and the third-fastest time registered in a 200m final at the World Championships behind Bolt's world record 19.19 done in Berlin in 2009 and his 19.40, which was posted in 2011 in Daegu, South Korea.

The top-four finishers all dipped below 20 seconds as Gatlin, dislodged from his perch after a commanding season, crossed the line in 19.74 seconds, with South Africa's Anaso Jobodwana taking the bronze in a national record 19.87. The second Jamaican in the final, Nickel Ashmeade finished eight in 20.33.

"It's a big deal," said Bolt of his success. "It means a whole lot to me, I will just continue to push myself and continue to do great things."

"I knew I had to run the first 150m hard. After the first 150m, I looked across and I could see that Justin Gatlin was tiring and then it was never a doubt that I was going to win," Bolt shared.

sprinter mowed down

In fact, the Jamaican probably had more issues off the track than he did on it, after he was mowed down by a cameraman on a Segway (an electric scooter) before springing to his feet like a caped crusader and checking on the cameraman's well-being, like a true hero would.

"The rumour I'm trying to spread is that Justin Gatlin paid him to do that," Bolt later joked.

He was also at the centre of a high-speed foot race between security and a fan, who wanted to get too close to the sprinting superstar.

In the women's 400m, Jackson paced herself well, to post a personal best 49.99 seconds clocking en route to winning the bronze medal in the event behind American Allyson Felix, who clocked a world leading 49.26 to win ahead of Bahamian Shaunae Miller 49.67.

It was a historic event for Jamaica, which became the first country to field four athletes in the 4,00m at the World Championships. The Jamaicans occupied the positions from third to sixth, with Christine Day fourth, in a personal best 50.14, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, 50.42 and Novlene Williams-Mills, 50.47, fifth and sixth, respectively.

"No one knew who I was before the semi-final and coming out here and winning the bronze medal with a personal best, it feels great!" said Jackson, a student at the University of Technology.