Tag Archives: Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt: I could have won the 100m race at Tokyo Olympics

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt thinks he could have the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games gold in 100m race.

The 35-year-old was absent from his first summer Olympic Games since Athens 2004.

“I really missed it. I was like, I wish I was there,” he said in an interview with AFP. “Because for me, I live for those moments. So it was hard to watch.”

The 100m title was won by Lamont Marcell Jacobs with a time of 9.80s. The Italian sprinter with his team-mates also took the title in the 4x100m. Bolt thinks that he could have been fighting for a podium place, if he was at the Olympics

“My coach said something to me at the end of my career. He said, ‘People are not getting faster. I was getting slower.’ I never looked at it that way,” said Bolt.

“And it’s the facts because a lot of guys don’t really get faster. Because I have pushed the barrier so far and then I started going backwards time-wise, so for me 9.80 was possible to get done.”

Kenyan Athletes Undervalue Themselves

Kenyan athletes are dominant from 800metres to Marathon. The rest of the world scramble for 100m to 400m. Yet, despite this imbalance, Kenyans are left holding the short end of the sponsorship stick. You can’t blame Nike, Adidas, Visa Card, Turkish Airlines et al for dropping peanuts or nothing to our athletes. It is how they have valued themselves.

Many years ago, I was acting for a world champion. A Beer Company & Nakumatt (then biggest company in Kenya) approached him for endorsement deals. He came to me. I negotiated with both companies & we were on course to agree Kshs. 10m apiece. But as they were then going to be the biggest sports sponsorship deals for an individual, the process was understandably slow. One weekend, my client called me from Europe and very excited told me he struck the deal directly. On what terms? The Beer company gave him One Million. Nakumatt gave him vouchers of Kshs. 300,000=. To excite him, both put him on their Billboards. I cried and terminated my relationship with him.

Conor McGregor, LeBron James, Serena Williams, Usain Bolt, Naomi Osaka, Steph Curry, Tiger Woods, Ronaldo et al get annual endorsements in excess of us$30m (Kshs.3B). Nike pays some of these athletes in excess of us$10m (Kshs. 1Billion). Yet no Kenyan athlete has annual endorsement in excess of us$500,000/=). An MCA makes more money than our highest paid athlete.

What our athletes need to do is not be haughty and arrogant like the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt, but neither should they be as timid as the negroes who worked in the cotton fields of segregated south of US. The need to stand up and give themselves same value as their fellow top athletes in US and Jamaica. To be excited being called Brand Ambassador or being on a Billboard is stupidity of the highest order.

Once our greatest athletes retire, and these local companies stop giving them the measly Kshs. 5m, they fall into penury, alcoholism , depression abd death. Find out where our biggest athletes of 1990’s are. A tragic tale.

We can’t force athletes to value themselves, but they should not blackmail Kenya once they stop running. We cannot insure stupidity.”

Usain Bolt rules out athletics comeback

Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt has ruled out a return to the sport, although he did admit he still has the “itch” to compete.

Bolt, 35 last made an Olympic appearance on the track at the 2016 Rio Games where he completed a hat-trick of 100m gold medals after winning in Beijing and London. He retired after the 2017 World Championships and his world records in the 100m and 200m remain intact.

He told the BBC: “It’s too late. If I was going to come back it would have been to be for this Olympics.

“When I told my coach I was going to retire he sat me down and said ‘when you retire that’s it. I’m not doing any comeback tours, nothing. So make sure you are ready to retire’.

“I remember I went to him in 2019 and said ‘what do you think about coming back for the Olympics?’ And he looked at me and said ‘don’t even start’. So if it’s not my coach, I’m not going to do it, because I believe in him and if he says no, it’s no – but I’ve got that itch though.”

Since hanging up his running shoes, Bolt has taken to football – playing for Central Coast Mariners and participating in the charity event Soccer Aid.

His latest venture sees him leave the world of sport and enter music as he has released a reggae album called Country Yutes with best friend Nugent ‘NJ’ Walker.

Bolt won all he could in athletics and now he has ambitions for one of music’s highest accolades – a Grammy.

He told Daily Beast: “It isn’t just about getting a hit song, it’s getting a song that sells platinum and wins a Grammy. We are putting all of our time into music and aiming to be up there with the very best.”

Source: independent.co.uk

Andre De Grasse beats Noah Lyles to take gold in 200m race

Canada’s Andre De Grasse added gold to a groaning collection of minor medals with victory in the 200 metres at the Tokyo Olympics games.

De Grasse, operating in the considerable shadow of Usain Bolt for most of his career, had won six bronze and two silver medals from global individual races and relays, but has been on fire in Tokyo.

Showing perfect judgement he ran down leader Noah Lyles to win in a Canadian record of 19.62 seconds to make him the eighth-fastest man of all time over the distance.

“In 2016 I was a kid and inexperienced but now I have so many expectations to come away with medals,” said 26-year-old De Grasse, who won silver behind Bolt in the 200m in Rio.

“I wanted to show the world all my injuries are behind me and I can bring home a gold medal.”

Kenneth Bednarek from USA came in second to take silver in 19.68 while the race Favorite and defending Noah Lyles also from USA crossed the line in third place in a time of 19.74 seconds.

Are super shoes distorting history?

Athletics chiefs are under pressure to outlaw controversial ‘super-shoes’ after the sport’s top scientist admitted the rules governing them need to be revamped.

Olympic records are expected to tumble at Tokyo 2020, with competitors using hi-tech footwear that has led to record books being rewritten at an astonishing rate.

Usain Bolt last week joined the outcry against the governing body for permitting the shoe technology, with the sprint legend describing the situation as ‘laughable’.

Bermon suggested that the current regulations, which simply limit the depth of the sole and the number of hi-tech stiff ‘plates’ within it, are not sophisticated enough.

Figures within World Athletics have previously avoided giving any indication as to whether the rules will need to be changed once a moratorium on doing so ends after the Games. ‘After the moratorium we will very likely have new rules governing these shoes,’ said Bermon. ‘In the longer term, we will probably have new rules based on different characteristics other than a simple measurement.

‘It seems what is mediating the highest performance-enhancing effect is likely the stiff plate. Regulating this would mean — and this is something we are likely going to move — just regulating on measuring the shoes and the number of plates is not enough. We should move to a system that is based on energy return.’

Elite road running has been transformed since Nike released its VaporFly shoe four years ago, with athletes producing a slew of remarkable performances.

They included the Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge breaking the fabled two-hour marathon barrier wearing a pair, while his compatriot Brigid Kosgei beat Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old marathon world record by 81 seconds a day later.

The introduction of track spikes using similar technology has had a similarly transformative effect and will be widely used in Tokyo. Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei set world records over 5,000m and 10,000m wearing a pair, while in June Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce clocked 10.63 seconds in the 100m, second only to Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Fraser-Pryce last week argued that too much signifance has been assigned to the shoe, saying: ‘You can give the spike to everyone in the world and it doesn’t mean they will run the same time as you or even better. It requires work.’

But Bolt believes they are unfairly enhancing performance, saying: ‘It’s weird and unfair for a lot of athletes because I know that in the past shoe companies actually tried and the governing body said ‘No, you can’t change the spikes’, so to know that now they are actually doing it, it’s laughable.’

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce argued that too much significance has been assigned to the shoe

Scientists are uncertain why the shoes bestow such enormous benefits but it is understood the key technology is the stiff plate, often made of carbon, and the ultra-light, springy foam.

Along with an upper in the road shoe that is more curved than previous designs, it is felt that these qualities significantly reduce the amount of energy the runner expends.

World Athletics has capped the depth of the sole at 40mm to limit the effect of the foam and insisted on a maximum of one plate per shoe. Critics have said those rules do not go far enough. Especially when some athletes find much less benefit from the shoes compared to others and some enjoy no improvement at all. The reasons for that phenomenon has also so far baffled the scientists.

‘The same shoe gives you a massive variability among different athletes — even greater than 10 per cent [improvement in performance] in some cases,’ says Professor Yannis Pitsiladis, who sits on the science and medical commission of the International Olympic Committee.

‘How you respond to the shoe can determine if you’re going to be an Olympian or watch it on TV. You know who is going to win and who can qualify [for the Games]. Athletes have qualified because they had access to a super shoe. And many who were not running in these shoes didn’t qualify.’

Pitsiladis compares the shoes to a form of ‘technological doping’ and wants the regulations to be changed so that the shoes cannot determine the outcome of a race.

‘One solution is to minimise the stack [sole] height, while allowing the shoe companies to innovate in a smaller area, minimising the impact of any performance-enhancing mechanisms such as the carbon-fibre plate,’ he says.

‘Let the best companies come up with half a per cent [improvement in performance], say, or one per cent. But not a situation where you have improvements in running economy of even greater than seven per cent.’

Experts fear that the working group World Athletics has put together to advise the ruling body on the regulations post-Tokyo will not go far enough, especially when representatives of six sports brands are sitting on it.

‘The moratorium was also because we had to discuss with the manufacturers,’ said Bermon. ‘It’s very important that you respect the manufacturers. They have spent a lot of time and money designing these shoes. We have to take decisions that do not put them into difficult economic circumstances.’

The working group also includes representatives from the governing body itself, its athletes commission, the ‘sporting goods industry’ and a scientist. World Athletics said: ‘The group is examining the research around shoe technology in order to set parameters, with the aim of achieving the right balance between innovation, competitive advantage, universality and availability.’

Thomas Baines – National 800m runner – I tried the shoes for size, and flew!

I raced in the Nike Air Zoom Victory spikes for the first time on Saturday and broke my 800metres personal best by more than a second.

I reached 600m and thought ‘Wow, I have a lot left in the tank’. I felt like I saved more energy with each contact with the ground.

They are so springy. I put my foot down and felt a burst of energy, a lovely bounce, when I came up. They really work with you, you get a spring up and it is a lot more efficient, as it absorbs the energy when you go down and pushes you back up, so you fatigue less.

National 800 metre runner Thomas Baines raced in the Nike Air Zoom Victory spikes

You just don’t have to work as hard so it is helping with the basic biomechanics of running. It allows you to get a longer stride without putting any extra effort in. It is not that the spikes make you run quicker, just that you have so much more left at the end. That’s the key.

I finished in 1min 49.6sec at the Loughborough Grand Prix, which is 1.1sec off my previous best. I was second behind a 1500m European junior champion also wearing the spikes.

My aim now is to get to GB under-23 level, to compete at the European Championships. If I can keep improving the spikes will definitely help too. I trained in the Vaporfly trainers on a 10km run last week.

Running at an easy pace I would normally be clocking 4min 40sec pace per kilometre. Putting in the same amount of effort, I got a few kilometres in, glanced at my watch and was ‘Oh my God!’ I’m running 4.20 per kilometre. It felt very easy. The same route took two minutes quicker in the end.

You can see why the professionals are using them. You can see the difference they make in the times. In 2019 there were two runners who ran under 1min 45sec. This season already there are six, with Elliot Giles now No4 on the UK all-time list behind Seb Coe, Steve Cram and Peter Elliott, with Oliver Dustin No6.

We haven’t had these sort of times run before from so many in the same season. It is making a big difference but at the Olympics all the elite athletes will be wearing spikes that use this technology, so it is a fair test.

Usain Bolt scores twice as Central Coast Mariners 4-0 win (VIDEO)

Usain Bolt marked his first start in professional football with two goals for Central Coast Mariners to beat Macarthur South West 4-0 in a preseason friendly.

Bolt, a eight-time Olympic sprint champion scored the Mariners’ third and fourth goals for Central Coast Mariners. He celebrated with his trademark lightning bolt celebration.

“My first start and scoring two goals, it’s a good feeling,” Bolt said after the game.

“I’m happy I could come here and show the world I’m improving,” he added.

The 32-year-old put the Mariners 3-0 up with a powerful left-foot strike that went low past the keeper. He did well to a control chipped ball played by Scotland striker Ross McCormack and held off the Macarthur defender.

Bolt doubled his tally minutes after the first strike by tapping in from close range following a mixup between a Macarthur defender and the goalkeeper.


The 100m world record holder, who had training stints at Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway’s Stromsgodset, joined the Mariners for an “indefinite training period” in August.

He had made a couple of appearances before Friday’s match for the side that finished 10th in the last A-League season.

Witnessed by more than 6,000 people at the stadium, Bolt broke into his trademark celebration move after the first goal. When he was subbed off in the 74th minute of the match, the crowd booed as they wanted a hat-trick for their sprint hero.


 

Bolt could have ended up with more if not for some blunders in the first half wherein he missed easy headers. Nonetheless, the Jamaican sprint legend said he is proud of his effort.

“I think I made some slight mistakes but it’s my first real game with the first team. I’m just happy I got a chance and I’m proud of myself,” Bolt said, as quoted by news.com.au.

“It was a big deal, scoring a goal in my first real match is a big deal. To score two goals, it’s a good feeling, it’s what I’m working towards, I try to improve myself, I try to get better and I’m doing that.”

Despite scoring the double, Bolt’s performance against Macarthur, who play in the second-tier competition, was far from impressive. It remains to be seen if the Mariners offer him a professional contract ahead of the new league season, starting October 19.

Usain Bolt to make football debut

Usain Bolt is set to make his debut for Central Coast Mariners, despite saying he is struggling with the physical demands of professional football.

The Jamaican eight-time Olympic sprint champion, 31, joined the Australian A-League side for an “indefinite training period” earlier this month.

The Mariners will face an amateur side in a pre-season friendly on Friday.

Coach Mike Mulvey said Bolt has “rudimentary skills”, adding: “I imagine he’ll get some minutes.”

Mulvey said the 100m and 200m world record holder was “doing OK” but would take some time “to adjust”.

He said: “The things we are asking him to do are things that he hasn’t done for quite some years.

“He has played football as an athlete in between athletic meets so he has rudimentary skills. It’s about being able to do it at the speed that we do it.”

The 11-time world sprint champion has been playing as a left winger in training but said he still needs to “get up to pace” with the stop-start nature of football matches.

“Because I’m not used to picking up speed, going back down, up and down, up and down, back and forth, that’s the most challenging,” he said.

“The [A-League] season doesn’t start until the end of October so I have time.”

Bolt, who retired from athletics in 2017, has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, South African club Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway’s Stromsgodset.

He said he had always “dreamed” of playing professional football and was starting to see improvements in his game.

“For me it’s about just getting fit and as many touches of the ball that I can. The more I play, the more comfortable I get,” he said.

 

Bolt: I’m ready to prove people wrong

Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt had his first training session with Australia’s Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday and said he is ready to prove the doubters wrong by winning a professional football contract.

Bolt, who turned 32 on Tuesday, came to training at the Central Coast Stadium with his prospective team-mates, with a big grin as he kicked the ball around during a light session in Gosford.

The eight-time Olympic gold medallist has been given an open-ended trial with the Mariners, who finished bottom of the 10-team A-League last season, but many have criticised Bolt as using this trial as a publicity stunt.

Bolt said: “I’m here. For me, people are always going to say what they say. Just like when I was in track and field, people said a lot of things about me but I always proved them wrong.

“So, it’s just another moment for me to prove people wrong.”

The Jamaican retired from athletics at the World Championships in London last year and has already trained with Borussia Dortmund, South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Norway’s Stromsgodset.

However, Bolt admitted he is taking this new career path “one step at a time”.

“For me it’s just like track and field,” he added. “The first day of training is always the roughest one. You can tell how much work you need to put in, what you need to do.

“It felt OK. I know it’s going to take time and work and I’m ready to work.”

Bolt said he had put his hand up for a wing or central forward role, and pledged to perform his signature ‘lightning’ gesture if he scored a goal in the A-League.

The Mariners coach Mike Mulvey has said the track and field star could play in a trial match on August 31.

Source: skysports.com

Usain Bolt Joins A-League Side

Usain Bolt has joined Australian side Central Coast Mariners for what the club is calling an “indefinite training period” – essentially, a trial.

It emerged last month that the 100m world record holder was in negotiations with the A-League side.

Bolt, who retired from athletics last year following the World Championships in London, has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, Norwegian team Strømsgodset and South African side Mamelodi Sundowns FC.

“The agreement between the Central Coast Mariners and Usain Bolt does not guarantee a professional playing contract but does provide the eight-time Olympic gold medallist with an opportunity to achieve his burning desire to play football professionally,” said the club.

“It has been my dream to play professional football and I know that it will involve a lot of hard work and training to get to the level required to play and make an impact in the A-League,” said Bolt

When I spoke to the Head Coach Mike Mulvey on the phone he outlined the ambitions of the club and his plans for the upcoming season. I hope I can make a positive contribution to the club and look forward to meeting the other players, staff and fans in the coming weeks.

I always say that ‘anything is possible, don’t think limits’ and I look forward to the challenge.

Usain Bolt’s football dream hits a snag with Australia’s A-League

Gosford is a small town with big ambitions. Nestled on Australia’s central coast about 50 miles from Sydney, it has a population of fewer than 4,000 but is the commercial and administrative centre of the region.

It has an art gallery and a historic harbour, a classic car museum and the “entertainment hub” of Mann Street. There is a A$650m plan to regenerate the centre and Gosford is twinned with both a ward in Tokyo and a city in western Slovakia. This week it was also the centre of the sporting universe. Well, almost.

“Reggae League – Legend Usain Bolt to play A-League SOCCER! in NSW” ran the headline on the Australian Daily Telegraph. “Usain Bolt’s Central Coast Mariners trial set to make headlines for A-League” was the self-fulfilling prophecy shared by the national broadcaster ABC. Bolt, the Olympic icon, was to undergo a six-week trial at little old Gosford’s Central Coast Mariners with the aim of signing professional terms. He would do so under the watchful eye of Mike Phelan, the former Manchester United assistant and Hull manager, now the Mariners’ sporting director.

At least that is how it was reported. In truth, at the time of writing, the trial has yet to begin and may never happen at all. In the past year Bolt has trained with three other clubs, Borussia Dortmund, the Norwegian side Stromsgodset and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns. None of the trips ended with Bolt signing for the club but each provided a flurry of headlines, a gaggle of cameras and the odd flirtatious remark from the Jamaican.

“Maybe a club will see something and decide to give me a chance,” he said before his Norwegian trip, sounding like a plucky little nobody rather than the most famous track and field athlete in the world and international face of Visa, Gatorade and the luxury watch brand Hublot. Bolt also has an advertising deal with the Australian telecoms company Optus.

If there is a sense that inviting Bolt down to your club for a quick training session is not a bad way to generate publicity, it was not exactly quashed by the actions of the Mariners this week. Only after the Telegraph ran their Bolt back-page scoop did the Gosford club feel it necessary to release a statement that they were simply in “discussions” with Bolt over a trial, and that said trial would not be a commitment to provide a contract.

After that it also became clear, thanks to remarks by Bolt’s agent Tony Rallis, that even the trial was dependent on other elements falling into place, namely the willingness of the Football Federation Australia to stump up some of their “marquee fund” to finance a contract for Bolt should it ever get to that stage.

As yet the FFA has yet to offer up the money (there is a reported “seven-figure sum” available per season, and they may prefer to spend it on someone who has played professional football before instead) and therefore the trial is in limbo.

What with nature abhorring a vacuum, the wait has been filled with stories of other clubs expressing their interest in signing the “fastest man on Earth”. The newly created US club Las Vegas Lights got some publicity of their own, for example, after their owner, Brett Lashbrook, talked up a potential move. “Of course we have an interest in Usain Bolt. Why wouldn’t we?” he told ESPN. There is some doubt as to Las Vegas’s ability to match the Jamaican’s wage demands, however.

One thing that is not really in dispute is Bolt’s desire to play football. He insisted during his stint at Dortmund that he intended to make it as a professional and do so “at a high level”. The longer his trials go on, the more of a challenge this would seem and those who watched Bolt perform in the televised charity match Soccer Aid earlier this summer will have noted that the rest of his footballing skillset does not quite match up to his pace.

Perhaps, in the end, Bolt will join a long and illustrious list of athletes who have looked for a second act in the beautiful game only to have to settle for a bit part.

The cricketer Denis Compton is the exception that proves the rule, though even the great batsman was a regular in the Arsenal first team only during the second world war. In more modern times Ian Botham remains perhaps the most famous ever Scunthorpe player but made only seven starts for the Irons (he did, however, flourish in their reserves, scoring a hat-trick against Blackpool).

One of Britain’s greatest ever Olympians, Daley Thompson, signed for Mansfield Town in 1995. “It’s no gimmick,” Mansfield’s manager Andy King said at the time. “When Ian Botham signed for Scunthorpe, that was a gimmick. Daley is an athlete – Botham wasn’t.” Thompson never made an appearance for the first team.

The Usain Bolt football odyssey may continue for a little while yet but, if the great man is to take a lesson from history, it might be this: do not necessarily take a football club at its word.

theguardian.com