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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Usain Bolt beats Justin Gatlin again ~ this time in 200M at Beijing

Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest is the venue for  15th World Athletics Championship.

For the second time in four days, Usain Bolt held off the challenge of Justin Gatlin of the United States in the Bird’sNest to complete his world 100/200m double in 19.55, the fastest 200m time run this year, and conclude a rare night of athletics that had already been punctuated with a historic triple jump of 18.21m by Christian Taylor, the second best ever achieved.

Bolt’s season has been so undermined and delayed by a lingering joint problem that he had not even run a single 200m in competition before coming to Beijing. Here, against an opponent who headed the world lists with 19.57, he was – incredibly – close to his imperious best.  As he crossed the line he pointed at his chest with both hands and nodded his head, just in case anyone should doubt that he, rather than the shorter figure in red who strained two lanes inside him, was The Man. Gatlin looked almost relieved after taking silver in 19.74, with Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa claiming bronze with a national record of 19.87.

The Star reports that when time came for Usain Bolt to celebrate a record 10th world championship title, a clumsy cameraman got a little too close for comfort. A man riding a Segway and holding a video camera upended Bolt in the excitement of the celebrations of his 200-metre victory, losing control after hitting a metal rail on the side of the track and barging into Bolt from behind.

Bolt tumbled to the ground, flipped over to get back on his feet and then briefly held his left leg. He then walked back to the cameraman to make sure he was OK, too.  “There was no doubt,” Bolt said after winning his fourth 200 world title in a row to add to two Olympic titles. “I told you guys that I would do it.”

Before the start of the tournament, to the media it appeared that Justin Gatlin was the favourite, mainly because Bolt has not run much in recent past. All such uncertainty was put in back burner as Usain Bolt produced his biggest clutch performance to beat rival Justin Gatlin on Sunday in the 100m final at the World Championships with a lunge at the line.  Bolt was trailing for almost all the race, the biggest showdown in the sport in years. But with gritted teeth, the two-time Olympic champion clawed back into contention and made his giant stride count to win in 9.79 seconds, .01 seconds faster than the American veteran.Two lanes to his right, Gatlin was as good as perfect for most of the race,  but just could not finish it off !!  

Today, it was not that close !!  With a time of 19.55 seconds, Bolt set the best time of the season. And despite slowing down, he still beat Gatlin by 0.19.   Even if Gatlin ran a good bend Thursday, Bolt’s was better and the Jamaican was clear coming into the finishing straight. His huge stride has made the difference throughout his career, and it was on full display again. With 20 metres to go, he eased up and started the theatrics as the Bolt of old ran through the line.

He capped it with his trademark “Lightning Bolt” pose.  Bolt is now 2-0 in Beijing against Gatlin, who had been unbeaten in two seasons, with only the 4x100 relay to come Saturday.  Seven years ago, Bolt started his amazing run of gold at the Beijing Olympics and has not lost a major 200 race since. The Jamaican, however, had been struggling with injury since winning his third straight 200 title at the 2013 world championships in Moscow.

During the 2008 Olympics, Beijing's National Stadium was China's pride, the 90,000-seat physical embodiment of the country's economic ascendance. "The stadium lives up to its aspiration as a global landmark," New York Times architecture critic wrote at the time. "Its elliptical latticework shell, which has earned it the nickname the Bird's Nest, has an intoxicating beauty that lingers in the imagination. Its allure is only likely to deepen once the enormous crowds disperse and the Olympic Games fade into memory." Time has not, in fact, been so kind.  In later years,  the Birds Nest is a mostly empty "museum piece."

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Aug 2015.

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