In the space of 883 days Usain Bolt, often considered the undisputed symbol of track and field invincibility, had lost only two races - until in the space of a mere three days Yohan Blake beat him twice.
The sizeable crowd inside Kingston’s National Stadium following Sunday night’s big showdown in the 200m final was a curious mixture of smiles, frowns, grumbling and, for some, even anger as they sought to comprehend the gravity of Bolt's latest defeat.
Blake completed the sprint double over his more renowned teammate, clocking a time of 19.80 seconds, with Bolt lagging behind, second in 19.83. Warren Weir secured the final Olympic qualifying spot in a time of 20.03. Blake had already beaten Bolt over 100m, clocking a personal best time of 9.75 claiming the Jamaica's men's 100m crown.
But, there’s no question that taking down the champion in his preferred event, the 200m, one that he has dominated for the better part of five years, was perhaps an even more impressive feat. In fact it was nothing short of a sensational performance from the 22-year-old who has struggled to emerge from Bolt’s shadow. Perhaps that is why, in the midst of tempered celebration, he kept sight of the fact that there are much sterner tests to come.
Bolt holds the world record at 19.19, and Blake's personal best is not far behind at 19.26. Bolt looked a long way short of his dazzling best in the 200m final and, despite getting a good start, failed to keep Blake fighting to find that extra gear and even baring his teeth as Blake went by.
Run-off to decide Felix-Tarmoh mess
Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh will have a run-off on Monday to break their deadlock for the last US 100-meter berth at the London Olympics, USA Track and Field announced Sunday.
Eight days after training partners Felix and Tarmoh shared third — the final Olympic spot on offer — in the women’s 100 final, a two-hour meeting between the runners, coach Bob Kersee and USA Track and Field officials settled the issue.
Felix and Tarmoh, whose June 23 photo finish proved inconclusive and who were given identical timings of 11.068 sec.