Olympic Stars - Usain Bolt
Fastest man on the planet Usain Bolt has the world at his feet and could run away with an Olympic double in Beijing.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 18/08/08 6:19am
Usain Bolt is the current fastest man on the planet as the world record holder over 100m - despite the event coming second in his thinking behind his favoured 200m.
Bolt's coach Glen Mills feels his man still needs more experience at the shorter distance but the times say otherwise - after Bolt blazed away to a new world record of 9.72 seconds in New York in May.
The Jamaican is also flying at 200m and is a genuine contender to match Carl Lewis' achievement in 1984 of claiming the coveted sprint double.
'The Lightning Bolt' as he is known, will be involved in a massive three-way tussle for the Olympic 100m title if he takes part in Beijing, with compatriot Asafa Powell and American Tyson Gay.
At 200m he is a much better bet after clocking the fastest time ever seen in Britain with his blistering 19.76 at Crystal Palace in London in mid-July.
Although in just his first season running seriously at 100m, Bolt has sprung from nowhere to world record holder in an instant, but he and his coach are insisting that he is no flash in the pan.
Beating team-mate Powell when it mattered at the Jamaican Olympic Trials in June showed his big-race temperament - and it was part of a double success as he powered away with the 200m title as well.
A talented junior, a 15-year-old Bolt won a gold and two silvers in front of his home crowd in Kingston at the World Junior Championships in 2002.
A World Youth Championships winner at 200m, Bolt made history as he became the first junior to break the 20-second barrier in the distance when he clocked 19.93 in 2004.
In the senior ranks, Bolt grabbed World Championship silver behind Gay in the 200m in Osaka in 2007, and also grabbed a silver in the 4x100m with Jamaica.
Also the Jamaican record holder at 200m, Bolt broke Don Quarrie's 36-year-old mark by running 19.75 at the National Championships.
Honoured by the IAAF by being handed two Rising Star awards, Bolt does have the world at his feet as still a 21-year-old, but with an Olympic sprint double well within his grasp.
Powell did get his own back with 100m victory in Stockholm, but Bolt ran him close and the signs are that it could go either way if they both line up in Beijing - but the 200m could be a different story and Bolt will be hard to beat.