Oops, he did it again: Jamaica's Usain Bolt sets new world record(Read article summary)
Bolt ran a 9:58 Sunday at the world championships in Berlin. Why are Jamaican sprinters so fast?
David J. Phillip/ AP
It's hard to know just when the world's fastest man will stop breaking records for the 100-meter dash.
Usain Bolt again toyed with the limits of our belief Sunday when he laid down a physics-defying time of 9.58 seconds at the world championship finals in Berlin. Perhaps my contact lenses went blurry for a second. Nope. Nine point five eight.
Even sports announcers had to look to the extraterrestrial for an explanation.
"There's no one on this planet - or any other that we know of - [who can] run this fast," exclaimed NBC announcer and former top-flight sprinter, Ato Boldon, moments after Mr. Bolt's feat. "He's a meter-and-a-half faster than anyone else in human history."
Making it look easy
And, Bolt being Bolt, the 6'5" Jamaican did it with style.
Before the gun, while American Tyson Gay wore a stone-cold stare and others jogged in place or tried to envision every step, Bolt sauntered around joking with fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell. When his name was called, he did his trademark gesture of pulling back an imaginary bow and arrow and pointing up to the sky.
When the gun went off, it was over. The shorter sprinters' only prayer was to explode out of the starting blocks faster than Bolt. They did not.
What the crowd couldn't know at that precise moment, however, was that Bolt would smash his own outrageous world record (set last year at the Olympics in Beijing) by a staggering .11 seconds. But they didn't have to wait long. Blink and they'd have missed the golden streak that was Bolt cross the line with a 9.58.