Bolt's 10 seconds of work equals hours of fun stories

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:11pm


Guess what the great man did after reminding the world that he was still the fastest man on the planet? He went and partied until well past three in the morning with three Swedish female handball players. Wow, you might ask, with the 200 metres coming up? Either it is a show of supreme confidence or Usain Bolt is just human, like you and me ... well not exactly, but you get the drift. But look at it this way, the race was run at 9.50pm. It might have taken just 9.63 seconds for Bolt to crush the pretenders to his throne, but it took a tad longer for him to get past the press.

He had to run the gamut of the world's media waiting for a quick soundbite - and they wouldn't have allowed him to get away in under 10 seconds - and then also attend the mandatory post-race press conference. The adrenaline would still have been coursing through his body even a couple of hours later when he got back to the Athletes' Village, where he was mobbed by his fellow athletes and fans. Among them were Gabriella, Isabelle and Jamina, three Swedes who wanted to explain to Bolt the finer points of handball.

He might be the quickest human being on Earth but he allowed himself to be caught up by these lovelies and the party began in earnest. It is typical of Bolt. While the accepted practice would have been to put on hold all the partying until after the 200 metres final was run tomorrow and the relay on Saturday, he is anything but conventional.

Yet, he has placed a lot of emphasis on the 200m, saying that only if he wins it can he lay claim to be the GOAT - greatest of all time. Undoubtedly he is already well on his way to being regarded as the greatest sprinter the world has seen because the defence of his 100-metres gold won in Beijing is the first time any athlete has done it on the track.

Carl Lewis also won successive Olympic golds in the 100 metres, but his second gold was a result of Ben Johnson being stripped off the prize after testing positive for drugs a few days after the race was run at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Now Bolt is attempting to defend the 200m gold medal he won four years ago. The only obstacle in his way is fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, the only runner to beat Bolt in recent months in both sprint races.

Bolt and Blake has a nice ring to it. It looks like the rest of the field will be running for bronze as they did on Sunday. It was an electrifying atmosphere made even more pulsating by the raucous 80,000 fans, nearly all of whom were behind Bolt.

The crowds have sportingly cheered all athletes but have reserved their loudest cheer for their own British stars. This was not the case as far as Bolt was concerned. Everyone, unabashedly, seemed to be in his corner as they raised the roof. And the great man loved every bit of it, showboating in front of the TV cameras as he mimicked a deejay spinning tracks with his fingers.

The race was almost disrupted by a drunken fan who threw a beer bottle on to the track as the athletes were getting ready to face the starting pistol. Luckily they were not distracted and the race got underway as the yob was spirited out of the stadium by security guards.

But poor Dutch judo bronze medallist Edith Bosch, who like many other athletes, including LeBron James and his NBA colleagues, had turned up to watch Bolt, missed the race. Bosch, who was seated close to the drunk, hit him but cursed that by the time she had turned around, the race was over.

She wrote on Twitter: 'A drunken guest throws a bottle of beer on the track! I have beaten him ... unbelievable! I also missed the 100m %&#%* grrrrr.'

This is the biggest problem with these sprint races, you get distracted for 9.63 seconds and bang, the race is over.

Thankfully there were no drunken yobs in the press area, only a lot of highly stressed people who were tearing their hair out having to meet deadlines around the world.

I'm sure the new crop of babies born in Kingston General Hospital on Sunday after the race had been run would have been named Usain or Bolt. It is the normal practice, in the hope that some of the greatness will rub off. Even royalty is not immune to this practice. Prince Harry has revealed to owning a share in Usain Colt, a promising young racehorse. But last Saturday, the same day his namesake comfortably won his 100m heats, Usain Colt finished eighth in the 2.20pm at Newmarket.

Things can go wrong sometimes. This was no lightning colt.