Jamaica's Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake led their team to gold and a new world record in the men's 4x100-meter relay final Saturday night, bringing a thrilling end to competition at the London Olympic Stadium.
Usain Bolt fans across the world have been celebrating his sprinting success by striking the famous 'Bolt pose' in a number of creative locations. Have you been striking the pose too? If so, send your photos to iReport.
The 2012 London Olympics has been an awe-inspiring event -- with daily doses of drama, guts and glory -- but its zenith was always going to be the showdown of the gladiators of pace that is the men's 100 meters final.
Sprint superstar Usain Bolt was beaten by fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake for the second time in 48 hours on Sunday as he was pipped to first place in the 200m final at the Caribbean nation's Olympic trials.
1. Bolt disqualified. It was a bit like seeing Old Faithful oversleep or Big Ben lose track of time. At the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, in August, Jamaica's Usain Bolt, the Olympic champion and world's fastest man, false-started and watched the final of the men's 100 meters from the sidelines. In his absence, Bolt's 21-year-old teammate, Yohan Blake, won the race in 9.92 seconds (Blake would follow up a few weeks in Brussels by running the second-fastest 200 in history, .07 seconds behind Bolt's record of 19.19). But a sprint race without Bolt is really Christmas without Santa. His explosions out of the blocks are among the few athletic viewings that can leave spectators in awe. Instead, his mistake left the running world in a state of aw-shucks.
DAEGU, South Korea -- The significant portion of the world that doesn't pay attention to track and field except when there is a ceremonial flame burning on the rim of the stadium first was brought into Usain Bolt's orbit on the night of Aug. 16, 2008 at the Beijing Birds Nest stadium. It was there that Bolt won the 100-meter gold medal in a world record 9.69 seconds despite dropping anchor before the finish line, a breathtaking show of dismissive domination. Think: Vintage Tiger winning the Masters while laughing and putting with a lob wedge during the Sunday back nine.
DAEGU, South Korea -- Here was the moment, the only moment that truly matters beyond the four walls of a flagging sport. It was 8:41 Sunday night in a stadium set among green hillsides outside this industrial city. The seats were no more than two-thirds filled, but the halfhearted turnout of apathetic locals whose leaders simply bought a world championship event, is more than balanced by millions watching (or readying to watch later) on televisions and computer screens around the world.
DAEGU, South Korea -- Seven reasons, among many, to make a little time for the World Track and Field Championships, which begin Saturday in this city of 2.5 million people, 145 miles southeast of Seoul.
In some ways, very little has changed in the four years since Usain Bolt evolved sprinting. When it comes time to introduce Bolt at an international track meet anywhere on the planet, the stadium falls into anticipatory silence. A steadicam operator trains his lens on Bolt, who then puts on a little show. Sometimes he feigns slicking back his hair. Sometimes he runs through a series of hand gestures. At all times -- including when he is sick or injured, which of late, has been quite frequently -- he seems sublimely relaxed.
As sprinting announcements go, this one isn't official until all the hamstrings and egos are actually in the starting blocks, but barring a late withdrawal, the 100 meters at the DN Galan Diamond League track meet in Stockholm on Friday night could be the highlight of the season. Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt has announced that he will be sprinting against a field that includes his countryman Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay of the U.S., a loaded roster that the sport rarely sees outside of Olympics and world championships. Since athletes often duck and dodge rivals to protect their reputation, Bolt's participation is further sign that -- with his most recent defeat coming in 2008 -- he has no serious challengers.
Usain Bolt may bolt from another event, depending on the source you choose to believe. Although Bolt's coach, Glen Mills, says the sprinter will not run in the Jamaican team trials for the Commonwealth Games next week, Mills now says the quadrennial competition, set to open in Delhi on Oct. 3, was never actually on his schedule in the first place. That comes as news to organizers, who have been promoting Bolt's appearance since last year.
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Nov. 30. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer. Encores happen in sport, this we know. Michael Jordan kept winning NBA titles. Joe Montana kept winning Super Bowls. Lance Armstrong kept winning Tours de France. Greatness once established is proved again and solidified, and a legend's resume grows longer. But in 2009, Usain Bolt did something far more remarkable -- he improved on the impossible.
On Thursday, Usain Bolt smashed another world record by finishing the 200 meters in 19.19 seconds at the world championships. SI.com caught up with senior writer Tim Layden to get his thoughts on the Jamaican sprinter's historic performance.
BERLIN -- The world's fastest man is now even faster, swifter still than the Usain Bolt who sprinted and danced to an Olympic victory at the Beijing Olympics last year. The Jamaican superstar fired off another world record at the world championships in Berlin Sunday, lowering his own 100-meter mark to 9.58 seconds from the 9.69 he ran in winning the Olympics. Unlike last summer, Bolt ran through the finish line, waiting until after his moment in history to celebrate. He was gamely chased by a rejuvenated Tyson Gay, the U.S. rival and defending world champion who was felled by a hamstring injury last year and established himself as a worthy challenger to Bolt with some strong early-season performances. Gay finished in a solid 9.71 seconds, a time only Bolt has ever surpassed in history. Jamaica's Asafa Powell finished third in 9.84.
With two races down and two to go in the marquee event of the IAAF world Championships in Berlin, one man is all smiles and the other is all business. Olympic champ Usain Bolt of Jamaica sprinted with such ease and confidence in the first two rounds of the 100 meters at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday, he motioned for his friend and training partner, Daniel Bailey of Antigua, to go past him and win the quarterfinal heat by a hundredth of a second as he waved Bailey across the line. Bailey crossed in 10.02 seconds; Bolt was next to him in 10.03. Call it showing off. Call it bravado. Or if you're Bolt, the man who looked around for his competition before cruising across the finish line at the Beijing Olympics in world-record time last summer, simply call it confidence.
Last week, SI.com caught up with nine-time gold medalist Carl Lewis at the Audi Best Buddies Challenge, a charity bicycle tour and fundraising event to help people with intellectual disabilities. Lewis weighed in on everything from Usain Bolt's record-breaking performance in Beijing to Team USA fumbling the baton in the relays.
Running is a sport where relative success matters. A single group of striving runners can contain an individual for whom running at the pace of the pack is an act of utter laziness, and next to him or her, an individual for whom keeping up with that same pack is a heroic effort.
BEIJING -- There will always be another. This is the eternal lesson of track and field. On a sweltering August night 12 years ago, Michael Johnson lashed the 200-meter world record to his back and seemed to drag it deep into the future. He ran 19.32 seconds, so fast that young men accepted that they would not see the record broken again in their lifetimes.
BEIJING -- In the belly of the Bird's Nest past midnight, Usain Bolt emerged from a room where drug testing is done, having delivered the samples that might someday say as much about his performance as his winning time. He stepped into a wide hallway where giddy Olympic volunteers beseeched his autograph and his picture. He scribbled again and again, attaching his name to scraps of paper and to shirts, to programs and to credentials hanging from lanyards and surely they would have stayed all night with him.
BEIJING -- Do the eyes lie or do the eyes tell the truth? If they tell the truth, the Olympic 100 meters is over. Break out the gold medal, give it to 21-year-old Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt and run the race for silver and bronze. Check that; give the silver to his countryman, Asafa Powell and run the race for bronze.
BEIJING -- At 10:13 Monday morning in an Olympic swim stadium called the Water Cube, a world record was broken. Kirsty Coventry, a 24-year-old from Zimbabwe, touched first in a semifinal heat of the 100-meter backstroke, and the towering scoreboard froze numbers and letters next to her name: 58.77 WR. Three people in the audience clapped politely while yawning and checking spectator bus schedules.