After thunderstorms caused an hour’s delay to the start of the track meeting and a further interruption of 45 minutes when the area was hit by further torrential rain, a bolt of lightning hit New York ’s Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island . Jamaica ’s Usain Bolt, listed at 6-foot-4 and considered too tall for the sprint, won the 100-m in a time of 9.72 to become the world’s fastest man at the Reebok Grand Prix on May 31st , the eve of Caribbean-America Heritage month. His time was 0.02 seconds faster than the previous record set by fellow sprinter, Asafa Powelland beat outTyson Gay, the 2007 world 100 and 200 champion, who was second (9.85).
Jamaica has a lot to be proud of, and this year, Usain Bolt will represent the country at the world’s most premier sporting event, the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Happy about his new title and latest achievement, Bolt said “I was really surprised I did so well out of the blocks but I’m just proud of myself. My coach told me to concentrate on the drive phase and that’s what I did.”
Bolt gave credit and thanked a big contingent of Jamaicans in the crowd who cheered him on. “Just coming here, knowing a lot of Jamaicans were here giving me their support, it meant a lot….I always perform good in front of my Jamaican fans. They’re so loud. And I like noise.”
Over the years, Jamaicans has picked up speed in 100m and 200m track races, leaving many U.S. track superstars, in the dust. Olympian golf-medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown recently won the women’s 100 on May 18 in 10.91, the fastest time of 2008. In 2004, she was the star track & field athlete at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, taking home two gold medals ( 200 meters , 4 x 100 meters relay) and a bronze medal ( 100 meters ). Her winning time of 22.05 seconds in the 200 meters set a world-record in Athens , leading her to being named Jamaica’s 2004 Sportswoman of Year.
And on September 9, 2007, in opening heats of the IAAF Rieti Grand Prix in Rieti, Italy, Asafa Powell ran 9.74 s in the 100 meters. After Sunday’s historic track event, he now faces a showdown at the end of June with Usain Bolt at the Jamaican National Championships to be held over three days – June 27-29. How exciting that will be! Let’s just pray all the athletes are running on God given strength and not the use of performance-enhancing drugs, otherwise known as doping. If they need an artificial energy boost, Red Bull will do, but nothing beats practice and proper training.