FOLLOWING Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s successful defence of her 100 metres Olympic title yesterday, the Jamaican trio of Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell must be licking their lips at the prospect of shutting out the Americans in the men’s equivalent today.
Bolt and Blake are almost shoo-ins for the top two places and Powell has been executing his races with a new found confidence, and if he turns up in a no nonsense mood, a Jamaican sweep is a real possibility.
Based on the performances of the Jamaicans in the heats, all three look in good nick and will be very hard to beat. ?Bolt, the undisputed star of modern track and field, seems to be over his injury problems and must be gunning to live his dream of becoming a legend in a sport which floundered before his arrival on the scene.
With his double loss to training partner and friend Blake at the Jamaican trials in the back of his mind, Bolt must be chomping at the bit to prove to the world that as good as Blake is, he is still the real ‘Big Man’.
In a recent interview in London, Bolt told reporters, “I have to prove to the world that I am the best”. ?Blake, on the other hand, sports a more modest demeanour and lets his feet do the talking and entertaining on the track. Blake, who has been in the shadow of Bolt and has seen the superstar treatment afforded to his training partner, must have ambitions of raising the price of his appearance fees.
Powell is the best starter in the business and will be hard to peg back if he times his start right and explodes from the blocks.
In terms of times, none of the Americans have posted any times that could threaten any of the Jamaicans on their day as the recent times posted by Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin and Ryan Bailey — who clocked the fastest time of 9.88 in the first round — would have got them into the Jamaican team.
In fact, it was Gay who said weeks ago that it will take a time below 9.70 to make the medal podium in London. ?In the heats, Gatlin looked to be pressing the pedal to the hilt in posting 9.97. He will have to improve vastly on that effort to get past the Jamaican trio of powerhouses.
Gay is a true warrior who knows what to do to win races, but based on his current form he will have to do much better to be a factor.
Bailey’s run in the heats equalled his personal best and he is not expected to cause any hiccups. ?All considered, a Jamaican sweep in the men’s 100 metres is a real possibility.