Will it take a world record to win the men's 100m?
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Based on reports coming out of London that the track inside the Olympic stadium is lightning fast, the world record in the blue riband event could well be shattered given the class of the competitors that have qualified for tomorrow's semi-finals.
The world record is owned by the inimitable Jamaican champion Usain Bolt with none of the world's other sprinters even coming close to his 9.58 clocked at the World Championships in Berlin, Germany in 2009.
Although Bolt seems to be getting back to top form, it doesn't appear that he will demolish the field on this occasion.
World records aside, Bolt will have to dig deep to fend off the charge of his training partner and the apparent main threat to his sprint crown, countryman Yohan 'The Beast' Blake, who has the world leading time of 9.75.
Blake appears to be in awesome form based on his easy win in the first round of the 100m. Sure to be brimming with confidence after his double win over Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic trials in June, Blake with be firing off all cylinders and will be sure to keep Usain Bolt honest on the track.
The other Jamaican possibility, Asafa Powell, must be aware that time is running out at age and this may be his last Olympics, and as such, he must be hungy for an individual medal at the highest level.
Powell's ability has never been in question and if he gets his trademark explosive start, he may just pull Bolt, Blake and the other competitors to a record-breaking time.
The American challenge to the Jamaican sprint supremacy cannot be underestimated and Tyson Gay will be gunning to shatter Jamaica’s dreams for more glory. Gay is a fierce competitor and although he is on the mend from hip surgery, his lat races have indicated that his fighting spirit and fast finish are still intact, therefore making him a formidable opponent.
Gay is one of three of the current crop of top flight sprinters who can boast of beating Bolt over 100m — the others being Blake and Powell.
Another American Justin Gatlin has everything to prove that he is the genuine article and will definitely be pulling out all the stops in order to cop a podium finish, while the other American Ryan Bailey must be brimming with confidence after posting the fastest time of 9.88 in the qualifying round.
Whatever happens when the starter's gun fires at 3:50 pm tomorrow, one thing is sure: Whoever wins will have to run fast. Very fast.