Bolt a legend with the X-Factor

Usain Bolt may believe he is now worthy of the legend tag and be on a par with Michael Johnson -- but he arguably surpasses the American because he can win and entertain at the same time.

The genial 25-year-old Jamaican achieved his benchmark of what a legend is when he completed an historic successive Olympic individual sprint double with an impressive win in the 200 metres Olymopic final in London on Thursday.

Many observers were happy to confer the 'legend' tag on Bolt after he successfully defended his 100m title on Sunday, but in his mind he needed gold in the longer sprint to seal the deal.

As ever he delivered on the big occasion.

He even took time to entertain, turning towards his training partner and silver medallist Yohan Blake as he crossed the line and put his finger to his lips. He seemed to be thinking: "Debate over - I am still the man in charge."

For Bolt had come to London after Blake, who took the world 100m crown last year when Bolt was disqualified, had beaten him in both sprints at the Jamaican trials in June.

Doubts seemed to have crept in.

But Bolt consigned those defeats to footnotes in history as he showed once again the big event brings out the best in him, first with a scorching run in the Olympic 100m and then in his preferred event, the 200m.

"It's what I came here to do. I'm now a legend, I'm also the greatest athlete to live," said Bolt.

"I am in the same category as Michael Johnson. I'm honoured. It's all about Michael Johnson for me. I grew up watching him break world records. He's a great athlete."

The American won gold in the 400m in the 1996 and 2000 Games and smashed the world record as he scorched to 200m gold in 1996 in 19.32sec - the same time Bolt ran 16 years later on Thursday night.

Unbelievably for someone who has already achieved so much, Bolt went into the Olympics with doubts surrounding whether he could repeat his electrifying sprint double from Beijing.

A modest season by his standards, fitness concerns and an early morning car crash all suggested a troubled champion.

But clearly the special atmosphere surrounding an Olympics sparks something in the 25-year-old from Trelawny.

After first hiding in the Jamaican training camp in Birmingham, the Bolt of old returned in a witty press conference on the eve of the Games.

Unlike other entertainers from the sporting world who fall short when it comes to delivering titles, Bolt has an incredible ability to be able to play to the crowd before a final, then focus on his race and blitz the field.

On Thursday, the post-match entertainment consisted of fooling around with the spectators in the Olympic Stadium and borrowing a camera to take a few snaps.

Athletics will be hugely thankful to the man who has done more to give the sport the global recognition it lacked as years of high-profile doping scandals sapped its credibility.

While former champions or world record holders either fell by the wayside - think of Tim Montgomery whose downward spiral ended with a spell in prison - Bolt has put big performances and a sense of fun first.

He has been criticised by some like Olympics chief Jacques Rogge for performing to the crowd before a race, but unlike them he has realised that athletics is an entertainment business and the crowd need to be brought into it.

"This is what I do. I've said it," he said. "A lot of people come out to see what I'm going to do today, tomorrow and it's fun for them.

"I enjoy showing them and giving them the joy I get out of doing this because they give me the energy to do it so I'm always hungry."

Rogge, an honourable man from a different generation to the majority of spectators who buy tickets when the Bolt show comes to town, prefers to call the Jamaican an "icon", believing you can only become a legend when you retire.

The sport's authorities, the meet promoters and the fans will be delighted that the man himself plans to stay around for a while yet.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow
    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial
    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipina he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will on Monday kick off 10-day annual military excercises, according to Captain Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

  • Biker Beauty: Honda and David's Salon Pampering Day
    Biker Beauty: Honda and David's Salon Pampering Day

    Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI), and David's Salon recently held the awarding ceremony for the Metro Manila winner of the David's Salon Scooter Raffle Promo at the 5th level of SM Megamall Building A. Loyal patron Maria Theresa Guevara took home a brand new Honda Click 125i. Present to grace the occasion were David's Salon Creative Director Laura Charlton and HPI Assistant Vice-President for Sales and Marketing Hideo Nishinaga.To the delight of all those in attendance, guests were treated to …

  • ‘Next leader must not be newbie’
    ‘Next leader must not be newbie’

    Vice President Jejomar Binay believes the next president of the Philippines must have vast experience and a long track record in governance and in dealing with crises. “I am very much convinced that the local government is the best training ground for those who want to run for national government positions,” he said. Binay said he is determined to run for president in 2016 on the strength of his competence and track record. …

  • Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning
    Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning

    A suspect in the Maguindanao massacre case who had been examined at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) tested negative for poisoning, medical records released yesterday showed. However, the Quezon City court handling the multiple murder case resolved to isolate Police Officer 1 Pia Kamidon from the rest of the accused detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for his safety. In a two-page order, Regional Trial Court Branch 221 assisting Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada ordered jail officials to …

  • ‘Homework first before Facebook’
    ‘Homework first before Facebook’

    President Aquino elicited laughter from students here as he reminded them to open books first before Facebook. “Finish your assignments first before making a raid in the Clash of Clans,” Aquino said, referring to a popular online game. In a speech during the turnover yesterday of two new three-story buildings at the Tarlac National High School, he said the government could only provide opportunities for learning but the rest of the work would be up to the students. The new school buildings …

  • Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement
    Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement

    President Aquino ended speculations yesterday and confirmed that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina had indeed resigned as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police. As of this time, we are conducting various interviews and checks on the various candidates,” Aquino told reporters at the Tarlac National High School in Tarlac City. Aquino had kind words for Espina, saying that he stood by and defended the 44 slain police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in the operation in …

  • Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation
    Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation

    President Aquino welcomed yesterday the Group of Seven industrialized countries’ expression of concern over rising tension in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, calling it a clear indication of the global scope of the problem ramped up by China’s massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. In Tarlac City where he led the turnover of new classrooms, Aquino told reporters that goodwill and not tension must prevail in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, where territorial …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options