Usain Bolt's achievements are so extraordinary that the Jamaican's sensational 9.76 seconds 100 metres victory in Rome on Thursday was greeted as a mere "return to form" after his sluggish outing in Ostrava last week.
In fact only Bolt, American Tyson Gay and compatriot Asafa Powell have run faster and the time would have been good enough to win every Olympic and world championship final until Bolt's world record 9.69 in the 2008 Games.
But everything the Jamaican does is measured against the mind-numbing numbers he posted in Beijing and then the 2009 world championships in Berlin, when he set world records winning the 100 in 9.58 and the 200 in 19.19.Bolt too is past thinking 9.7 is anything to shout about as he told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
“Yeah, it was good and I was happy with my technique but we were not really stressed about the time, we're working on getting everything right for the (London) Olympics,” he said of his partnership with coach Glen Mills.
“My start was good but my transition was not so good, my shoulders were slightly out and it's that sketchy transition we're working on.
“Everything's getting better though. I haven't had any injuries this year and I'm in good shape and spent some good time in the gym. Now it's about getting back my fluency, but it's still early in the season.”
How dispiriting it must have been for all Bolt's opponents who perhaps detected a chink in the armour as he laboured to a 10.04 victory in the Czech Republic last week and said afterwards he was not quite sure why he had struggled to the slowest time of all his senior 100 metres finals.
“I want that Olympic gold,” said Bolt. “I want to run fast but winning it is what matters, that is the key, that is the focus.”
“For me the 100 is the pinnacle, without a doubt, I have to win it. At the end of the day I just want to wow people after this Olympics so I'm looking forward to it.” he added.