Sunday, August 25, 2013

Usain Bolt admits 'I'm a legend' after 200m title in Moscow

Usain Bolt wins the men's 200m title at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, finishing in 19.66sec. After the race, Bolt says he wants to add to his legend status to ensure he is remembered as one of the greatest. The Jamaican claims his next goal is to win the Olympic 100m and 200m for the third consecutive time, which would make him the first person to do so

This time, there was no need for lightning to provide a surge of electricity over the Luzhniki stadium. Usain Bolt did it all by himself. The Jamaican, who had looked unusually sluggish in grinding to 100m victory last Sunday, was simply serene as he glided to 200m gold in 19.66sec.
This was Bolt's seventh world title, and surely one of the easiest of the lot. Only his team-mate Warren Weir, who ran a personal best of 19.79, got anywhere near him. The American Curtis Mitchell took bronze in 20.04, while Britain's Adam Gemili – who so thrillingly dipped under the 20-second barrier on Friday – was fifth in 20.08.
Earlier in the week Bolt had dropped a starting block on his foot but there was no pain here; only pleasure – although he did admit to being weary near the end.
"When I entered the straight I felt tired, my legs felt a little bit heavy," said Bolt. "My coach told me not to push too hard if it was possible so I backed off a little. But the 200m is my favourite event so this victory is very important to me."

Bolt was strutting before the start, a model of easy-goes-it charm as he pretended to wash his face while introduced to the crowd. His demeanour hardly changed during the race, and he crossed the line easing down in the fastest time in the world this year.
Behind him, straining away, was Gemili, pumping his legs and heart out in his first major championship. On Friday the 19-year-old from Dartford joined John Regis in an exclusive club of two as the only Britons to run under 20 seconds for the 200m.
In the final he posted his second-fastest ever time, but, frustratingly, it was 0.04 outside the bronze medal that he craved.
It was not quite what he was hoping for after running 19.98 in his semi-final but Gemili will not be the last teenager to suffer a Saturday hangover after a brilliant Friday night out.
And he leaves with such vivid and unexpected memories. Four and a half months ago Gemili was hobbling around hospital after surgery on his foot. Now he can say, without fear or ridicule, that he has arrived on theglobal stage.

"There are no words to describe how I'm feeling," said Gemili. "My name was called just after Bolt and the whole stadium erupted. It put a smile on my face and helped me relax. I didn't execute my race well as I could have, but I am still happy."
Afterwards Gemili revealed that Bolt had talked to him beforehand to help him stay calm. "The call room is not how I expected it," he admitted.
"All the guys know each other from the circuit and are really friendly. Usain was like: 'How are you feeling?' I said: 'I'm good, I'm just trying to go out and enjoy it.'
"He said: 'Make sure you do because you are going to get old like me one day,' and: 'We'll see you at the finish.'"
Unfortunately the reunion was a little later than Gemili had planned. Still, he is the first teenager to make the 200m final at the world championships since Bolt – then an 18-year-old – finished eighth in Helsinki in 2005. And we all know what happened to him.
You feared Gemili's chances of a medal had gone when Bolt caught him at 60m, before the bend had straightened. But he kept battling and believing. And for a brief moment it looked like he might win Britain's third bronze of the night.
"I was very close to a medal," he said. "Just four hundredths, and I missed out on the Olympic final by four hundredths as well, so it's always those fours. But hopefully I'll be up there getting a medal in future years."
Bolt was certainly impressed with what he saw. "I'm still in shock that Gemili made the finals," he said. "I've never seen him run a 200m ever. I thought he was just a 100m runner so to be in his first final and to run sub-20 is outstanding."
At the end Bolt lingered in the Luzhniki Stadium for 20 minutes to celebrate his victory. There were pictures of him with Britain's 4x400m relay squad and he also borrowed a camera to take an impromptu shot of team-mate Weir. The pair even gave what looked like the Jamaican version of the hokey cokey a twirl.
And why not? Bolt is only 26 but by the time of the next world championships, in Beijing in August 2015, he will be 29. As he told Gemili, these nights will not last forever.
By then Bolt will almost certainly be out on his own in terms of world championship medals. He now has nine – seven golds from Berlin 2009, Daegu 2011 and here in Moscow, to add to two silvers in Osaka in 2007. That puts him within one of Carl Lewis's tally of 10 medals. On Sunday in the men's 4x100m you expect Bolt will draw level.
The night was helped by the fact that, for the first time at these championships, the stadium was sold out and here were great swooshes of noise and colour, which, for a moment or two, made you wonder whether the energy of London 2012 had briefly been transported to Russia. But on this penultimate evening in Moscow, nothing was more electric than Bolt.

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