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'Lightning' Bolt pulls off fastest half-lap on birthday eve
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Simply no word can describe how the world is admiring Usain Bolt.

Four days ago, the Jamaican "Lightning" blitzed the night sky in Beijing while he showily smashed the men's 100m world record. Tonight on the eve of his 22nd birthday, the childish sprinter stormed away to shatter the widely-perceived unbeatable men's 200m world record at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Wearing the same yellow-and-green track suit, stepping the same pair of golden shoes, with both laces fastened this time, Bolt played with the half-lap world record at his full discretion.

In front of the towering Jamaican, any speed seems irrelevant. The only one that matters is whether the childish man is in the mood of setting new speeds. Just nothing can stop him: not slow start -- he replayed the famously bad start of 0.182 second in reaction time in the 200m race; not the weather -- he ran into a 0.9m/s headwind and chopped down the world record anyway; not his iconic shaking running posture -- he almost swaggered into and out of the curve and dashed across the finish line with his turbo gear roaring. It was scary.

"It is a dream that comes true," Bolt said. "I have been aspiring for the world record for so long."

Bolt trampled flat legendary sprinter Michael Johnson's record of 19.32 seconds, shortening it by two hundredths of a second, which sarcastically made Johnson an green-eyed hall-of-fame celebrity who said, "I don't think he will break it (the 200m record) here."

As an Olympic ambassador, Johnson was invited by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to watch Bolt's race on Thursday evening. Five hours before the race, the American, who still holds the 400m world record of 43.18 seconds, said, "In order to run 19.30 he has to run the curve better and hold his speed for longer."

Satisfied with his lackluster start, nonetheless, Bolt said he passed the curve as hard as possible. Once entering the straight, he told himself, "Keep it up, don't die on me now."

Johnson has been the world's best crystal-gazer who precisely predicted the new world record. However, Johnson never expected the first-time Olympian, often grimacing at TV cameras and chewing chocolate nuggets as one top leisure fun, would run as fast as the same time he predicted without taking advice of the Wise Man.

Bolt was entirely enviable four days ago after he became the first human to finish 100 meters within 9.70 seconds. In his unprecedented 9.69-second run piercing the windless air at that night, the laid-back big boy didn't even notice his left shoe lace was loose as his right fist slammed the chest in a celebrative finish.

He is now even more enviable for grabbing double sprint golds as well as holding two records. Long trained in the 200m, Bolt has almost secured the Olympic 200m gold since he created in mid July the season's best of 19.67 seconds, with a 0.5m/s headwind. No other top sprinters got closer to him, including world champion Tyson Gay and his fellow American Shawn Crawford who won the Olympic 200m title four years ago in Athens.

Bolt said, "I came here to prove I'm the best."

Mentor Glen Mills made Bolt's dream come true. Previously worrying about too much pressure and stress on Bolt if allowing his double title ambition to fly, Mills eventually gave him a nod. The coach himself might also be shocked at seeing his pupil sweeping not only the two golds but also the double records.

Many Jamaicans in the Bird's Nest, or the Olympic track and field venue, burst into tears as national flag-clad Bolt waved and kissed acknowledgement to their on-the-scene support.

Some charged Jamaicans sports authorities with loose implementation of anti-doping measures, but nobody in the athletic community in Beijing, including elite U.S. sprinters who are arch-rivals to the formidable Jamaican fleet, seemed to buy the cheating theory.

After being disqualified for the men's 100m finals and commenting on the Jamaicans' superb sprinting show, Gay, who was America's title hopeful before the Games, said, "I don't think there's a doping problem. Everybody is clean."

Bolt's father, who saw the Olympics in their Caribbean island, rather attributed his son's career success to their favorite diet of yam, a conventional food in northern part of the country which is believed to offer people magic libido.

Bolt always treats running as fun. "If you enjoy yourself on the track, you will feel relaxed."

He has already thought of taking a week-long vacation after the Olympics, wearing sandals and bathing in beach sun.

Back again to run on the track, Bolt will be still chasing fun.

(Xinhua News Agency August 21, 2008)

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