Matthew Kitchen, NBC Olympics
Beijing 100m/200m champ Usain Bolt just lost back-to-back races to Yohan Blake at the track trials in Kingston, and has had a hectic year with up and down times, a car accident, and a breakup.
Now Bolt’s coach, Glen Mills, has pulled the world record holder out of the Monaco Diamond League meet on July 20, that final Olympic tune-up, citing “a slight problem” he wouldn’t elaborate on.
That’s enough drama for a career, much less the three months leading to the Olympics, but Bolt is an unmatched raw talent who won three gold medals in Beijing despite experts like sprinting legend Michael Johnson saying that Bolt “runs very raw.”
“He’s not a very clean sprinter,” Johnson explained in a recent interview with Laureus. “If he were to really be focused on and committed on cleaning up his technique he probably could run 9.4 [in the 100m].”
As of now, he’s far off that pace and will be facing arguably the most stacked field in the event’s history, starting with young rival Blake and including Athens gold medalist Justin Gatlin, former world record holder Tyson Gay, and compatriot Asafa Powell, who’s clocked more sub-10 100m races than anyone in history.
With his recent 100m times hovering around 9.80 seconds, it’s reasonable to assume he might actually, possibly, maybe be beatable in London. Will it take losing in London for Bolt to put in the work it will take to finally recognize his seemingly limitless potential?
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.