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Usain Bolt Superhuman, Tyson Gay...
by: Weldon Johnson, LetsRun.com
August 16, 2009
Berlin, Germany

This is not a recap of Usain Bolt's 9.59 incredible world record race where he defeated a very game Tyson Gay in 9.71. I'll let far better writers do that.  This is just me trying to put thoughts on a superhuman, freak of nature.

People emailed me from the States asking what I thought of Bolt's run. I struggled tremendously to put words to my thoughts. While I am super impressed with all that is Usain Bolt, I was far from surprised from his record run. Usain Bolt is a freak of nature and I'm not surprised with anything he does on the track. After Bolt's 9.69 in Beijing jogging the last 20 meters last year, scientists wrote that Bolt could have run sub 9.60 and I believed them. Now, everyone else in the world does too.

After listening to fellow competitor, Darvis Patton of the USA be at a loss of words to describe Bolt (see the video below on the left), I feel better. Patton said much better than I could what I think about Bolt:

    "There are no words to describe him. He's like a created game person. He's like a cheat code. That's how good he is...."
    -Darvis Patton

Darvis Patton: "Usain Bolt Like a 'Cheat Code (1:10)

Monzavous Edwards on Usain Bolt Using His
'Gift' Like Michael Jordan and Joe Montana

100m semifinalist Mounzavous Edwards compared Bolt and his gift to Michael Jordan and his gift BEFORE the mens' 100m final. If Bolt's competitors are that amazed by Bolt even before his record run, then I understand now while I'm not too surprised by anything he does.'

Sub 9.4 might be the surprise territory for me, but after the race that is what Bolt was talking about. Check out the Reuters article,  "Bolt Says He Can Run 9.4 that has this quote, "I said 9.4. I think it will stop at 9.4 but you never know"

Tyson Gay Very Human Right?
Tyson Gay however seems very, very human. He gets nervous before races. He seems to have to try very hard. He is not perfectly at ease in every situation. Thus, despite Bolt's incredible run and my loss of words for all that he does, I think I may have left the track respecting Tyson Gay the most.

12th IAAF World Athletics Championships - Day Two

Gay is a true class act on and off the track. He always is polite to the media, feels an obligation to stop and talk even between rounds, and he is a big meet performer in a huge way. Hampered by a bad hamstring all summer, Gay delivered big, big time on Sunday. In the history of man kind, only one man has run faster than Tyson Gay. The problem for Gay was he was right behind him.

The problem for Bolt is that it seems to come easy. A freak of nature who is 6'5" and can sprint with nerves of steel while hamming it up with the fans. We may never see another like him. I was standing next to a Jamaican journalist being interviewed by Japanese television. The guy said if Bolt ran 9.2 he wouldn't be surprised. That's what Xbox characters do. Granted the journalist may have been caught up in the moment, but he added something at the very end that was pretty interesting. He said something along the lines of. "Bolt doesn't train. Well, he trains, but he doesn't train as hard as the other guys."

So there you have it. A guy who misses part of the year because of a serious car accident, who does not train as hard as the other guys, can be perfectly relaxed on the starting line, ham it up for the crowd and the media and then still run 9.59.

Tyson Gay meanwhile seems to work very hard and is very human.  He's not an athlete who can come off an injury from last season, be injured for much of this season and run 9.71. Wait a second, that is Tyson Gay. And that sounds superhuman. It is only Usain Bolt with all his majesty makes Tyson Gay seem very human.

Tyson Gay may have been fooling us all along, but his competitors don't seem quite as fooled. Darvis Patton after comparing Bolt to a "cheat sheet" and a fictional character inside of a video game added this, "I think Tyson is equally as talented. I think it's going to be an epic battle between these guys the next couple of years." I sure hope so.

I Finally Let Gay and Bolt Speak for Themselves

Gay talks more about running the best race of his life but coming up short in the clip below. Gay was pleased with his run because Bolt expanded in Gay's eyes what is possible. Gay said, "I've been telling you someone could run 9.5. I'm happy he did it, it showed a human can take it to another level. Unfortunately, I wasn't the one to do it, but I still have confidence I can do it one day." Plus video of the Bolt, Powell, and Gay press conference.

For a good historical perspective on Bolt's obliteration of the record book, read this article which points out, It Took 30 Years to Go Through 9.90s, It Took 1 to Go through 9.60s.

Tyson Gay a True Class Act
(1:41)

Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, and Tyson Gay Press Conference
(Bolt of course is hamming it up half the time)

Donovan Bailey's Comments and Race Replay

 

The crowd mobs Bolt before the press conference
 

 

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