Had we been previewing the men’s 100m Sprint Final six months ago, I’m pretty sure the name Usain Bolt would have totally dominated the piece. However, with the showpiece event of the Olympic Games nearly upon us, it turns out we may have a race on our hands after all.
That is mainly thanks to Bolt’s training partner Yoham Blake, who has beaten the fastest man on the planet twice this year already, in both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Olympic trials. It should be remembered that the man they call ‘the beast’ became the youngest Men’s 100m Sprint champion last year when winning at the world championships.
Granted his cause then was helped by the disqualification of Bolt in the semi-finals, and since then Bolt himself has been plagued by niggling injuries, but nevertheless it would be absolute folly to suggest that Blake cannot repeat the feat on the biggest stage of all.
A powerful Jamaican presence is added to by Asafa Powell, Olympic bronze medallist in Beijing, and who has gone below 10 seconds no less than 79 times, more than anyone else in history.
The USA has a rich tradition in this event, having come out best on 16 of the 26 runnings, and will be represented by Athens 2004 gold medallist Justin Gatlin, who returned from a four-year doping ban to run 9.80 at the US Olympic trials, and forgotten man Tyson Gay who is out to recapture the form that saw him become the 2007 world champion.
Canadian champion Justyn Warner has run 10.15 this year but Gay reckons that the principals can all go below 9.80, so even if he does make the Final, it is very hard to see Warner figuring. As for the British challenge, that rests with exciting teenager Adam Gemili who captured the 100m world junior title in Barcelona in a championship record time of 10.05sec. He will surely go right to the top, but London 2012 may be four years too soon.
All are capable of adding to what should be a great spectacle, and Bolt has set his sights on a staggering target of 9.4-that is nearly .20 faster than his current world record of 9.58. He has trained well since recovering from the minor setbacks that have contributed to question marks over his fitness, and is ready to silence the doubters.
One last pointer towards this year’s race being the fastest ever run in history is the contribution from Nike, who has produced a special running outfit for the American athletes that has hundreds of small dimples, mimicking the effect of a golf ball. That will help the cause of Gatlin and Gay, but may still not be enough to stop the tri-cast of Bolt, Blake and Powell from storming across the finish line together. Which way round though? We can’t wait to find out on Sunday 5th August, BBC coverage starts on the 4th and finishes on the 5th August.
Men’s 100m Sprint Odds
BetFred have the best odds for this race with Usain Bolt still favourite at 8/11 and his training partner Yoham Blake at 6/4. No surprise that odds are very short for his race as these two stars are dominating the event.
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