Aug 02, 2008 at 01:39pm IST

Usain Bolt: A Bolt out of the blue

Name: Bolt Usain

Country: Jamaica

Date of birth: 1986-08-21

Birthplace: Trelawny

Height: 196 cm, Weight: 88.0 kg

Usain Bolt: A Bolt out of the blue

Jamaica's Usain Bolt poses next to the clock after winning the Men's 100m at the Reebok Grand Prix on May 31, 2008 in New York City. Bolt set a new world record, covering the distance in 9.72 seconds. AFP PHOTO/Hayden Roger CELESTIN

Disciplines: 100m, 200m , 4x100m

World record: 1 (100m - on 31/05/2008)

World Championships: (2 medals - 2 silver); 200m : 2nd (2007), 4x100m: 2nd (2007)

May 31, 2008 on a rainy night in New York and a wet track at the Icahn Stadium on Randall Island as the athletes entered the blocks for the 100m with a favourable wind of +1.7m/s.

A false start from Michael Rodgers but the second time round everything was clean.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt made headlines around the world with a stunning new world record of 9.72secs as he underlined his credentials as a serious gold medal contender at the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

American world champion Tyson Gay only saw the back of Bolt who shaved .02secs off the previous mark held by compatriot Asafa Powell.

His obvious nickname is "Lightening Bolt", a fitting moniker considering his time of 9.76secs on May 3 in Kingston, the second fastest time ever and in only his third 100m race.

His coach Glen Mills tried in vain to convince his protege to take up the 400m due to his fragile physique but Bolt was having none of it saying one lap of the track was too tough and his instincts were right as his surge to stardom has proved.

Mills obviously sat up and took notice of Bolt's electric speed when he ran 10.03 in the summer of 2007 at the Greek island of Crete.

But his scepticism was partly due to Bolt's weakened state at the 2004 Athens Games and his failure to finish the 200m at the 2005 world championships in Helsinki.

Incredible talent

Injuries have restricted the arrival of Bolt on the international scene of stars but signs of his unquestioned talent was on view in 2002 when he became the youngest 200m junior world champion at 15 years and 332 days when he crossed the line in 19.93 secs.

With his size, Bolt is not the quickest out of the blocks, he makes up for it with an explosive finish.

"Who says he's a bad starter?" retorted Powell's coach Stephen Francis.

"He led the race start to finish".

Bolt was originally scheduled to run just the 200m at Beijing after a silver medal at the 2007 world championships behind Gay at Osaka.

While some have questioned Powell's big race temperament, Gay seems his likeliest rival after clocking a wind assisted 9.68secs five weeks ahead of the Games but Gay failed to qualify for the 200m after breaking down during the US Olympic trials.

As the world record holder, Bolt is on the verge of a rare 100m-200m double that has not been witnessed at the Games since 1984 when Carl Lewis pulled it off in Los Angeles.

Bolt served notice in mid-July he is a contender for the 200m gold with a chrono of 19.67sec at Athens.

As well as talent, Bolt also has deep ambitions.

"This world record means nothing as long as I don't have the Olympic gold medal or world title," he blasted.

Regardless of his results in the Chinese capital, Bolt has time on his side as he will be just 22 years-old during the Games.

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