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Worlds Fastest Man

Worlds Fastest Man

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The World has a new "World's Fastest Man" And his name says it all

Usain Bolt

Running in his first 100-meter dash at Icahn Stadium, 21-year-old Jamaican Usain Bolt exploded from the blocks and beat a talented field by more than a yard, finishing with a new world record of 9.72 seconds.

"I had an idea I could do this," he said. "I didn't run a perfect race (at the Hampton Games) in Trinidad (in mid-May), and I still ran 9.92."

Yet Saturday night's Reebok Grand Prix seemed an unlikely one to set a world record. Yes, the 100 was billed as Bolt, the "it" kid since running a 9.76 nearly a month ago, versus American Tyson Gay, the reigning world champion in the event.

But the meet began an hour late because of early-afternoon rains, and another rainstorm halted the meet for 45-minutes midway through. Bolt and Gay didn't take to the track until nearly 11:15; then a false start delayed the record-setting run some more.

But Bolt didn't care about any delays. He wanted to beat Gay, who had run a wind-aided 9.76 at Icahn last year. And to beat the quick-starting American, Bolt needed to start fast.

"I knew if I got Tyson at the blocks, I'd have a good chance," he said.

Bolt nailed that, leaping from his blocks and leading the race from the start. Gay, who's used to running from behind, tried in vain to close, but he finished a distant second, running a 9.85.

"I honestly think we were on the same rhythm," Gay said. "I just didn't realize his stride length would be so long."

Gay had never faced the 6-5 Bolt in the 100 - although the pair had faced each other in the 200 before - but he wasn't disappointed by his own performance. He doesn't plan to run another 100 until the Olympic Trials later this month, but that'll give him time to make the "little tweaks" he says he must.

But those had nothing to do with Bolt.

"There's nothing to reevaluate," Gay said.

Except the Olympic picture. Just two months ago, Bolt was a 200 runner dabbling in the 100, and Gay and Powell were the Olympic favorites. Now, as Gay says, "Everything changes."

"When you're getting a lot of media attention about Asafa Powell, Asafa Powell…" he said. "It's different, but it's good for the sport."

Now, Bolt will likely enter the Olympics as the prohibitive favorite - assuming all goes well at Jamaica's trials. Powell is coming off a pectoral injury.

Gay meanwhile, who claimed he's right where he wants to be in terms peaking, mustn't just recapture his 2007 world championship form; he must do better. His non-wind-aided personal best of 9.85 just won't do against the Lightning Bolt.

"He's on fire right now," Gay said.

And changing career paths. Even after last month's 9.76 at the Jamaican International Invitational, Bolt said he might not run the 100 in the Olympics. But a world record can change things quickly.

"I think I will change that today," the Lightning Bolt said, smiling. "I think I will be doubling."
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