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Saturday, 15 August 2009


Usain Bolt.

9.58 seconds.

Watch. Marvel.

It may be the greatest sporting performance I have ever seen.

Hellie didn't get why this was such a big deal and I'm not sure if words can explain. Usain Bolt just knocked 1.5 metres off the 100m World Record. Usain Bolt has taken the 10 seconds 100m, a famed mark in sport, and made it redundant. Usain Bolt has changed what's possible, what it takes to win. He may be the most phenomenal athlete the world has ever seen, and all this in the space of just a year.

And what a year. It's exactly 365 days since his 100m final win in Beijing, since he ran 70 and celebrated 30 metres. I worked on that day, and I read the sports bulletin minutes after the race. My headline was simple... 'Wow'. I was speechless. I had that same feeling tonight, times ten. In the build-up to last year's Olympics, Bolt went from a star of athletics to the star of world sport. Tonight he lived up to that billing in a way no one dreamed possible. I felt he could have run 9.65. He did 9.58. Those seven-hundredths are a lifetime, and it may be a run the likes of which I never see again in my lifetime.

He better be clean.


I'd also like to take a quick moment to congratulate Olive Loughnane on her silver medal in the 20k walk this morning. She did our mutual home-town of Loughrea in County Galway proud with a mature performance which saw her outlast all of her competitors bar Olga Kaniskina, who is almost as dominant as Bolt. The Jamaican will rightly get the headlines tomorrow, but from one Loughrea native to another, well done Olive. You earned it.


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