Tag Archives: Usain Bolt

Elaine Thompson-Herah withdraws from Birmingham Diamond League

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the Olympic 100m and 200m champion, withdrew before what would have been her Diamond League season debut on Saturday after discomfort in training.

Thompson-Herah pulled out of the meet in Birmingham, Great Britain, out of an abundance of caution and plans to return to competition “in short order,” according to her management agency.

She was due to race the 100m against a field including Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, world silver medalist Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain and Americans Gabby Thomas (Olympic 200m bronze medalist) and Cambrea Sturgis, who ranks third in the world this year.

Last year, Thompson-Herah joined Usain Bolt as the only sprinters to sweep the 100m and 200m at multiple Olympics. She ran the second-fastest times in history in the 100m and 200m, trailing only Florence Griffith-Joyner‘s world records from 1988.

Thompson-Herah ran her 100m personal best at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, a 10.54 that is five hundredths off Griffith-Joyner’s record. As a Nike-sponsored athlete, she is expected to race at Pre again next week, if she’s healthy.

Thompson-Herah could get another crack at a fast time on the Eugene track at the world championships in July.

Source: olympics.nbcsports.com

US teen sprint sensation who broke Usain Bolt’s world record

Erriyon Knighton is only 18, but his name is already being spoken in the same breath as sprint legend Usain Bolt.

Track athletics phenom Knighton already has a sub-10 second time in the men’s 100m and became the first American teenager to ever run the 200m under 20 seconds, a feat he has repeated several times.

In the longer sprint distance he broke eight-time gold medallist Bolt’s world Under-20 record that had stood unbeaten for 18 years, and has also bettered the world U18 best.

The fast-rising star is a favourite to make a debut at the World Athletics Championships that will be held in July 2022 in Eugene, Oregon.

Here are the top things to know about one of America’s most promising sprinters, who finished fourth in the 200m at the Tokyo 2020 Games in 2021.

Knighton’s first sport was football

Just two years ago, the 1.91m (6 foot 3 inch) teenager, who takes his height from his father, a former basketball player, was focused on outrunning the cornerbacks lined up against him on the American football pitch.

The wide receiver at Tampa Hillsborough High School seemed keen to pursue his sporting interests in the NFL, and several of the best American colleges with strong football programmes were keen to draft the speedy teen.

But with most team sports restricted due to the pandemic, Knighton opted to focus on his other passion – track.

“I only started running track in the ninth grade,” Knighton said in an interview with the BBC on his start in athletics as a freshman.

“Before then you could have asked me what 100m was and I wouldn’t have known. I knew nothing about track. By the end of that year, I realised that I was kind of separated from the pack and faster than most people.”

 He’s a world record holder

It turned out to be a smooth switch from football cleats to spikes.

The then 16-year-old was in a class of his own as he shattered the 15-16 age group record with a 20.33 run in the 200m at the AAU Junior Olympic Games.

That race from August 2020 was also the fastest in the U.S. and a huge improvement of his personal best of 20.89.

The previous 15-16 age group record was 20.62 set by Tyrese Cooper from 2016.

The Florida native, who opted to turn professional in January 2021, was just getting started. He dashed to 9.99 seconds but with an high tailwind (+2.7) rendering his time illegal.

Despite that, Knighton had become the third high school sprinter to break 10 seconds, after Trayvon Bromell (9.99, +4.0) in 2013 and Matthew Boling (9.98 +4.2) in 2019.

Five months after that, he blew away a field that included Bromell and Commonwealth Games champion Zharnel Hughes, bettering Bolt’s World U18 best of 20.13 seconds set in 2003.

Knighton ran 20.11.

That mark qualified him for the USATF Olympic Trials where “he put on the gas as he had a world champion chasing him down”.

The 17-year-old made the final of the Olympic Trials, where he achieved several historic firsts.

He topped the 200m semi-finals with a blistering 19.91 seconds, beating world gold medallist Noah Lyles, who had trailed him in the heat again.

The mark surpassed Bolt’s world U20 record from 2004 of 19.93 seconds and also bettered the world U18 best he had run three weeks earlier.

A day later Knighton punched his ticket to Tokyo 2020 with a third-place finish in the 200m in 19.84 seconds behind Lyles and Kenny Bednarek, again lowering the world U20 record.

“I did good. I’m on the team. I’m 17. I can’t complain with that,“ he said after becoming the first high schooler since 1972 to represent Team USA at the Olympics.

Knighton has his eye on Usain Bolt’s senior world record

The young American began his 2022 outdoor season with another quick one on April 30.

He ran the fourth-fastest men’s 200m ever at the LSU Invitational of 19.49, a new world U20 record. Only Bolt [19.19], Yohan Blake (19.26) and Michael Johnson (19.32) have run faster.

After improving the junior world records several times, he is now eyeing another of Bolt’s world bests – the 19.19 he ran at the 2009 world championships in Berlin.

“I just want to keep shaving down on my personal best,” he told NBC sport.

“I want the world record. But if it doesn’t come, I won’t be really bothered about it. I’ve still got 10 years left.” – Erriyon Knighton to NBC Sports.

Erriyon Knighton: “I want to be a world champion”

Knighton was outstanding in his first major competition in Tokyo, where he just missed the Olympic podium and became the youngest teen since Jim Ryun in 1964 to represent the United States.

He finished fourth in 19.93 seconds behind the Olympic champion Canadian Andre De Grasse, silver medallist Kenny Bednarek, and bronze winner Noah Lyles.

“In Tokyo, I was kinda upset that I had lost, but I just had to think about the big picture and the long run,” Knighton who is coached by Jonathan Terry told the BBC.

“I get called young every day, I am going to be 24 in 2028, that is in two more Olympics and still kind of young. I think about that all the time.

“As I grow older I am going to get stronger and faster. I am not the perfect 200m runner, I am still learning as I run it.”

He was the third American in that race behind Lyles and Bednarek, which puts him in a good position to punch his ticket to a home championship in Oregon.

“I want to be world champion, or I want to be on the podium,” he said.

Sprint start is still a high schooler

Knighton remains focused on his studies at Hillsborough High School in Tampa.

The sprinter took a break from class when he turned pro with Adidas but is now expected to graduate later this spring.

“There were a lot of people wanting to take pictures with me at the start of the school year. I think I signed an autograph actually, it got that chaotic,” he recalled of his early days back in school.

“It has calmed down now. Now everyone just walks past me just like, ‘Hey, Erriyon’. In other schools in the area, people say to my classmates ‘you go to school with Erriyon’, but for people in my school they see me every day, so it ain’t nothing.”

Source: olympics.com

Mo Farah leads Vitality London 10k fields

Four-time Olympic champion, Mo Farah will make his return to competition at the Vitality London 10,000 in May.

The 38-year-old, Britain’s most decorated track and field athlete, has not raced since suffering a fractured foot in June last year. He fell short of the 10,000m selection time for last year’s Tokyo Olympics at the British Championships.

Farah, the 5,000m and 10,000m champion at both the London and Rio Games, is a seven-time winner of the London 10,000. The race, won by Farah in five consecutive years between 2009 and 2013, and again in 2018 and its most recent edition in 2019, will take place on Monday 2 May.

Farah who has been training in Ethiopia recently will tackle the Great Manchester Run on May 22. His summer racing plans after that remains unclear although he has committed already to the annual Soccer Aid football match with Usain Bolt and others at the London Stadium on June 12.

Farah is familiar with the London 10,000 event, however, as he has won the race seven times in the past. This year he faces fellow 2016 Olympic 5000m finalist Andy Butchart. The Scottish athlete has been in good form this year so far with 27:36:77 on the track in the USA in March.

Farah will also have an uphill task as he will face, Nick Goolab, Hugo Milner, Jack Gray, Derek Hawkins, Mo Aadan and Andrew Heyes.

“I’ve been working hard to get back into shape following my injury last summer and I’ve got a few more months of hard training ahead of me,” said Farah.

Farah set the UK 10km record of 27:44 in the Vitality London 10,000 in 2010. This mark was equaled at the start of this year by Emile Cairess in Spain.

Justin Gatlin retires

Four times world champion Justin Gatlin on Thursday (10) announced hanging up his spikes after an illustrious running career.

The 40-year-old veteran, who won gold in the 100m at the 2004 Athens Olympics, confirmed his retirement in a post on Instagram titled “Dear Track”.

“I have loved you track. You gave me tears of sadness and of joy, lessons learned that will never be forgotten,” he wrote. “The torch is passed but the love will never fade. On your mark, get set … Gone!”

Gatlin’s retirement had long been expected. He had attempted to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics last year but suffered a hamstring injury at the US trials in Eugene.

He completed a 100m and 200m sprint double at the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005, and also won 100m gold at the 2017 edition in London, scoring a rare victory over Jamaican icon Usain Bolt in the process.

But Gatlin’s career was also touched by scandal, and he was twice suspended for doping offences. His first doping suspension in 2001 arose from the use of Adderall, which contains amphetamine. Gatlin had been using the drug since childhood to treat attention deficit disorder. The US arbitration panel that heard his case ruled Gatlin was “certainly not a doper.”

A second positive test in 2006 found excessive levels of testosterone in his system. Gatlin blamed the results on sabotage by a therapist with whom he was locked in a financial dispute.

Elaine Thompson Herah up for another award

AFTER copping the World Athletics Female Sports Award last year, Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion Elaine Thompson Herah is up for another major award.

She is one of three track and field athletes nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award, World Athletics confirmed on its website yesterday. The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award honouring individuals and teams from the world of sports. Thompson Herah is joined by 400m runner Allyson Felix of the United States and marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.

Thompson Herah was nominated for the female award following her outstanding triple gold medal-winning performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. She won the 100m and 200m and was a member of the winning 4x100m relay team. Felix’s is among those for the award after reaching a record tally of 11 medals in athletics at the Olympics following her 400m bronze and 4x400m gold medal in Tokyo. Other female nominees include swimmers Emma McKeon of Australia and American Katie Ledecky, tennis player Ashleigh Barty of Australia, and Spanish footballer Alexia Putellas.

Thompson Herah who is also the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation’s National Sportswoman of the Year for 2021, will be hoping to become the second Jamaican to capture this award following the legendary Usain Bolt, who copped the award on four occasions – in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2017. She will also be hoping to become the third female track and field athlete to win the award, following Marion Jones of the United States and Cathy Freeman of Australia, who won in the first two years of the award, in 2000 and 2001.

Athletics legend and Laureus Academy member Michael Johnson of the United States, lauded Thompson Herah on her latest recognition. “She is an athlete who just completely dominated the sport last year,” said Johnson, according to the World Athletics website. Johnson stated that Thompson Herah, who won the 100-200m double at successive Olympic Games, did something which is very difficult to do, while she is threatening one of the oldest and most impressive world records in the books, the women’s 100m record (10.49 seconds) held since 1988 by American Florence Griffith-Joyner. Joining Kipchoge are American NFL player Tom Brady, Bayern Munich footballer Robert Lewandowski of Poland, Belgian-Dutch Formula One world champion Max Verstappen, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic, and American swimmer Caleb Dressel.

Tennis player Serena Williams of the United States, who won the award in 2003, 2010, 2016 and 2018, leads the way among females. On the male side, another tennis player, Roger Federer of Switzerland, has been the most successful. He has won the award on five occasions – 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2018. Meanwhile, golf great Tiger Woods won in the first two years, 2000 and 2001.

Source: jamaica-gleaner.com/

Usain Bolt’s World Record a decade on: The science behind the world’s fastest man

On Aug. 16, 2009, Usain Bolt clocked 9.58 seconds in the final of the 100 meters at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin.

A decade on, with the eight-time Olympic champion now retired, that world-record time still stands.

At just 22, the Jamaican obliterated a mark he had set exactly one year earlier at the Olympics in Beijing, shaving more than a tenth of a second off the time.

Dr. Peter Weyand, a biomechanics expert at Southern Methodist University, told Omnisport what made Bolt so unique.

A slow starter?

One of the biggest misconceptions of Bolt was that, due to his 6-foot, 5-inch frame, he was a slow starter. Not true, says Weyand. Particularly on that night in Germany when only Dwain Chambers was ahead of him after the first few strides.

“The most unusual thing was how well he was able to start for somebody as big as he is,” Weyand said. “Normally the people that accelerate and get out of the blocks very quickly tend to be the shorter sprinters. The physics and biology of acceleration favors smaller people. In 2009, I think he started as well as anybody in that race. The start was a differentiator.”

Long legs = more force

Though his height may have given him a slight disadvantage out of the blocks, Bolt’s frame came in handy once the race opened up, allowing him to generate more power in the short steps sprinters take.

“What limits how fast a sprinter can go is how much force they can get down in the really short periods of time they have to do it,” Weyand said. “If you’re going faster, the only way to do what you need to do to pop your body back up with a shorter contact time is to put down more force. What all elite sprinters do is put down more force in relation to their body mass than people who aren’t as fast.

“If you’re Bolt and you’re 6-foot-5, you have a longer leg and you have more forgiveness. He probably has six, seven, eight milliseconds more on the ground.

“You have to put down a peak force of about five times body weight and that needs to happen in three hundredths of a second after your foot comes down.

“He was so athletic and so tall. His long legs gave him more time on the ground.”

Fewer strides, greater success

Believe it or not, sprinters cannot maintain their top speed for the entire 100 meters. Bolt, who also holds the 200-meter world record, had another advantage in that he needed fewer strides to cover the distances.

“He had 41 steps usually [over 100 meters] and the other guys are 44, 45, some of the shorter ones are up in the high 40s,” Weyand said.

“Particularly over 200 meters, the step numbers are directly related to fatiguing. If you go through fewer steps and fewer intense muscular contractions to put force into the ground, you have a fatigue-sparing effect.”

Unique, but not perfect

Given he was able to accelerate out of the blocks quickly — relative to his height — and was able to use his frame to generate more force across fewer strides, Bolt might have looked like the perfect sprinter.

But Weyand argued: “You can make a case that Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the best female sprinter ever and she’s 5 feet tall.

“There are trade-offs in terms of being forceful when you accelerate versus having more contact time at your top-end speed.”

Will Bolt’s mark ever be broken?

No current athlete looks close to eclipsing Bolt’s time in the near future, but that does not mean his record time will stand forever.

In 2008, marathon runner and biology professor Mark Denny conducted research and predicted the fastest possible time a male sprinter could run is 9.48 seconds.

“Nothing’s ever perfect, Bolt’s obviously a unique athlete but no race is perfect and no set of circumstances are perfect,” Weyand said. “Certainly faster than 9.58 [is possible] but that’s a question that’s hard to answer without being pretty speculative.”

The only thing that is certain is for now — as has been the case for the previous 10 years too — the title of “the fastest man on earth” belongs to Bolt.

Source: sportingnews.com

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.