All good things come to an end they say, the best may only take 9.63 seconds ... (thatís the new Olympic 100m record for you, by the way).
During the past couple of weeks, my two-year-old and I spent sleepless hours waiting for people, usually Jamaican athletes and American swimmers, to reward our love for the Games, much to the dismay of my wife, whose interest in sports is decreasing and knowledge on the contrary is on the rise.
Anyway, Usain Bolt and company made sure watching athletics in wee hours was worth every penny. Athletics started almost a week into the Games, and Usain Bolt alongside his teammate Yohan Blake brought the house down in London not once, not twice, but three times!
Bolt successfully defended his 100metres, 200metres and 4x100metres relay Gold medals. He broke the Olympics record in the 100m; almost did the same in the 200m, where Jamaica won all three medals while in the 4x100m relay, team Jamaica absolutely trashed the world record.
It was a marvelous show; you cannot find superlatives that could actually describe Jamaicaís performance in that astonishing race last weekend.
Jamaica were without one of their top sprinters and former world record holder Asafa Powell, who injured himself in the 100metres final. Micheal Frater, Nesta Carter, Blake and Bolt teamed up to lock-horns with traditional athletics powerhouse, the United States of America.
Team USA have a plethora of extremely talented runners. Tyson Gay, the second fastest man ever, was leading United States charge in the ultimate showdown in the history of track and field.
However, it was Justin Gatlin, the former world record holder and Olympic Gold medalist from Athens 2004 in 100m, rather than Tyson Gay who took centre stage for America. Gatlin, who was banned from the sport for several years for doping, returned with all cylinders blazing. And in a sense it gave the Americans a chance to somehow wrestle all major sprint titles from the Jamaicans.
On the other hand, Usain Boltís rise to stardom has allowed Jamaica to produce world class sprinters at will now. Young Jamaicans have found a new destination for their tremendous physical prowess and they showed that in London by totally dominating a sport that was once considered as a fortress for the US.
The 4x100m relay was the last track and field event, with the Marathon taking place on Sunday. Asafa Powellís ouster from the event meant United States had every chance of winning Gold here, but, Jamaica still were clear favourites.
The athletes were set and all eyes were fixed on lane 6 and 7. The sound of the gun marked the start of the most thrilling 4x100m race in history. America had the edge in the first lap with Trell Kimmons showcasing his skills in short distance running.
The baton change was smooth for both Jamaica and America, but, Gatlin was unbelievably quick as he managed to increase the gap a little in the second lap. Blake took charge in lap three for Jamaica and Gatlin passed the baton to Tyson Gay. Yohan Blake showed his 100m final form, where he won silver behind Bolt, to make sure they were right there shoulder to shoulder with team US.
On the anchor lap Ryan Bailey, the young sensation from America, waited for the baton change with the king of speed alongside. There was not much in it when Gay passed the baton to Bailey and Blake passed it to Bolt.
For the first 30-40 metres both Bailey and Bolt looked like heading for a photo finish, but, thatís when Bolt hit top gear and he was absolutely flying, the commentators were finding it hard to control their excitement and so was I; these final 9 seconds were summing up the entire track and field artistically. With 80000 present in the stadium and billions watching across the globe, Bolt crossed the finish line a metre or two ahead of Ryan Bailey. America had equaled the previous world record of 37.04 and Jamaica absolutely shattered it by becoming the first team to go under 37 seconds. Their time 36.84!
It was remarkable, poetry in motion as they say; Jamaica had provided the ultimate entertainment package for sports fans. Team US did what was expected from them; they gave it everything they had, but couldnít find a way to dethrone the King from his magnificent perch.
Bolt and co rewrote history and London is indebted to the Jamaicans for making the event a success!