Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Olympic Games: Astonishing Bolt Proves He's on a Different Plane; Jamaican Does Sprint Double

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Olympic Games: Astonishing Bolt Proves He's on a Different Plane; Jamaican Does Sprint Double

Article excerpt

JAMAICA'S Usain Bolt was overwhelmed after becoming the first man to win the Olympic sprint double for 24 years with his second amazing world record in five days in Beijing.

Bolt, who casually shaved 0.03 seconds off his own record in winning the 100 metres title in sensational style on Saturday, clocked 19.30secs to break Michael Johnson's 12-year-old 200m record of 19.32secs.

Churandy Martina of the Dutch Antilles and American Wallace Spearmon were initially credited with silver and bronze, only to both be disqualified for running outside their lanes.

That gifted American Shawn Crawford the silver medal with team-mate Walter Dix claiming bronze. There was thankfully no doubt about the winner, Bolt becoming the first man since Carl Lewis in Los Angeles to win the 100 and 200m titles.

The 21-year-old, who turns 22 today, made a brilliant start and was already well clear of the field coming into the home straight. But unlike the 100m final, where he began celebrating well before the line, this time he sprinted through the tape to initially stop the clock at 19.31s, a time that was swiftly rounded down. "This is more than I can handle really, I'm a bit overwhelmed," Bolt said. "I didn't think a 200m record was on because I felt tired after the heats. But I told everyone I was going to come out here and leave everything on the track and I did just that.

"I've proved I'm a true champion and that you can do anything you want with hard work. It's great. I have a great feeling.

This is a dream come true. You come out here every day as an athlete to be a champion and this is just more than I can handle.

"It means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to the country also. I spoke to the PM (of Jamaica) and he told me everyone is dancing in the streets.

"I told myself if I was to get the world record it would be here because it is a fast track. Everything came together and I just blew my mind and blew the world's mind."

Britain's Christian Malcolm, who finished seventh in the race before being elevated to fifth following the disqualifications, paid tribute to Bolt. He said: "You could tell by the way he ran the 100m that he was always going to be capable of breaking the world record. …

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