Olympics: A bolt of lightning

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 22, 2008

Associated Press
BEIJING ó Three races. Three wins. Three world records.
OK, so Usain Bolt won’t take home eight gold medals from these Olympics, the way Michael Phelps did. That’s simply because there weren’t enough races.
OK, so Bolt won’t go down as winning any dramatic, neck-and-neck races, the way Phelps did. That’s because his only competition was the clock.
But Bolt certainly won’t be overshadowed by anyone at these Beijing Games ó not after wrapping up one of the most amazing performances in Olympic history, regardless of sport, by leading Jamaica to a 400-meter relay victory Friday in 37.10 seconds.
“It’s wonderful,” Bolt said. “You can’t explain the feeling you feel after the greatest Olympics ever.”
There’s no other way to define it for the 6-foot-5, 22-year-old sprinter, the likes of which the world has never seen.
With Phelps back home in America, Beijing is now Bolt’s world. Everyone else is just running in it.
In his finale, he ran the third leg of a blowout, a 0.96-second victory over Trinidad and Tobago that was the biggest margin in the Olympic 400 relay since 1936.
“We simply couldn’t compete,” said one of the second-place finishers, Marc Burns.
Nobody could.
Bolt became the first sprinter to set three world records in the same Olympics ó in many ways more impressive than all the records Phelps set in the pool, because two of Bolt’s marks were more than a decade old.
The final record shattered a 16-year-old mark held by Carl Lewis and his American teammates by 0.3 second.
Bolt joined Lewis, Bobby Morrow and Jesse Owens as only the fourth man to win the 100, 200 and 400-meter relay at the Olympics.