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The Fastest Man on Earth: Usain Bolt

usain boltUsain Bolt is a Jamaican sprinter and a five-time World and four-time Olympic gold medalist. He is the world record and Olympic record holder in the 100 metres, the 200 metres and (along with his teammates) the 4×100 metres relay. He is the fastest man on earth as of Olympic games London 2012.

As early as age 14, young Usain was opening eyes with his lightning speed from regional championships in western Jamaica to national meets set in Kingston to meets in the wider Caribbean.

Usain’s ascent to the pinnacle of world sprinting started with the most unlikely of events as his first medal at any meet came in the 80 hurdles in Class Three at Western Champs held on the campus of his Alma Mater William Knibb Memorial High in Martha Brae, Trelawny when he ‘jumped’ his way to a bronze medal.

Because he towered above his peers even then, Bolt was also entered in the high jump event and was a promising fast bowler in cricket before been encouraged to channel his energies on the track.

By 2001 Bolt became a known commodity and he sent signals that he would be a world beater in early 2002 when he cruised to a hand timed 20.3 seconds to win the 200m at Western Champs finals at Catherine Hall.

Later that year he went on to win the 200m/400m double at CARIFTA Trials before winning four gold medals at the meet held in Nassau, Bahamas.

He announced his arrival to the wider global audience in July 2002 when at the IAAF World Junior T&F Championships in Kingston in front of the biggest crowd ever to watch these meets, he won the host nation’s only individual gold medal, winning the 200m in 20.61 seconds.  He left that meet with three medals including two silver medals in the relays, anchoring the 4x100m team and was part of the 4x400m team as well.

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Bolt won a 200 m gold medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships, making him the competition’s youngest-ever gold medalist at the time (since surpassed by Jacko Gill). In 2004, at the CARIFTA Games, he became the first junior sprinter to run the 200 m in less than 20 seconds with a time of 19.93 s, breaking the previous world junior record held by Roy Martin by two-tenths of a second. He turned professional in 2004, and although he competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics, he missed most of the next two seasons due to injuries. In 2007, he broke Don Quarrie’s almost 36-year-old 200 metre Jamaican record with a run of 19.75 s.

His 2008 season began with his first world record performance—a 100 m world record of 9.72 s—and culminated in world and Olympic records in both the 100 m and 200 m events at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. He ran 9.69 s for the 100 m and 19.30 s in the 200 m, and also set a 4×100 m relay record of 37.10 s with the Jamaican team. This made him the first man to win three sprinting events at a single Olympics since Carl Lewis in 1984, and the first man to set world records in all three at a single Olympics. The following year he further lowered his own 100 m and 200 m world records to 9.58 s and 19.19 s respectively at the 2009 World Championships. This made him the first man to hold both the 100 and 200 m world and Olympic titles at the same time.

His 2009 record breaking margin for 100 m, from 9.69 to 9.58, is the highest since the start of fully automatic time measurements. His achievements in sprinting have earned him the media nickname “Lightning Bolt”, and awards including the IAAF World Athlete of the YearTrack & Field Athlete of the Year, and Laureus Sportsman of the Year. Sportspro has rated Usain Bolt as the 4th most marketable athlete in the world

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