Will The Beast Bolt To Gold?
You can often predict where the media will go. Four years ago Usain Bolt became an international superstar at the Beijing Olympics and then shocked event the track & field community with two world record performances at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.
He was the toast of the town, creating a stir wherever he went. He still does. During the walk up to the Opening Ceremonies, Jamaican officials felt the need to shield Bolt from even the other athletes and enlisted the Team Jamaica throwers on security detail.
"The boys have got my back," Bolt said. "We are a close team and everyone looks out for each other."
Despite all the attention — which even includes a new Bolt mobile game for the iPhone — the man closest to dethroning the sport's biggest star, teammate Yohan Blake, was bound to get the spotlight in the day's leading up to the 100-meter dash.
Jere Longman of the New York Times seems to already make Blake the favorite, writing:
"He has run the year’s fastest time at 100 meters (9.75 seconds) and last year posted track and field history’s second-fastest mark at 200 meters (19.26 seconds). At the recent Jamaican Olympic trials, Blake defeated Bolt in both events. In the 200, Blake did what few thought possible. He ran down Bolt from behind."
In New Zealand, writer Michael Gleeson contrasts the "humble" Blake to the "braggardly" Bolt. Truthfully, Blake isn't as humble as the story suggests.
After all, Vikki Orvice of the London Sun quoted Blake as saying, "When I’m training I train like a beast. That’s why Usain gave me that name … That is how I work. When you guys are sleeping at night, I am out there working. That’s why they call me the Beast. I work twice as hard as everybody else."
Sunday is the big day to see who's boss in 2012. The men's semifinals will begin at 2:45 pm New York time followed by the final at 4:50 pm.
Never count out Bolt... or Asafa or Tyson.