Usain Bolt ‘almost falls over,’ beats Yohan Blake, Asafa Powell

Usain Bolt
Getty Images
0 Comments

Usain Bolt nearly fell but still beat his two biggest domestic rivals, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, in a pre-Jamaica Olympic Trials showdown in Kingston on Saturday night.

Video of the race is here.

Bolt, the six-time Olympic champion, clocked 9.88 seconds in a 100m race, his fastest time this early in a year since 2012. Bolt stumbled in his first several steps (reminiscent of the 2015 Worlds semifinals) but overtook Blake and Powell with ease in the middle of the race, shutting down before the finish line.

“I almost fall over,” Bolt said in a TV interview shortly after the race. “I was trying to control it, but it was just one of those things. It comes and goes. I think I dragged my foot too hard, then I just tried to correct myself, and I tried not to panic, and I made my way through.”

Nickel Ashmeade took second in 9.94, followed by Blake in the same time and Powell in 9.98 seconds.

Bolt’s time is the second-fastest in the world this year behind a 9.86 from France’s Jimmy Vicaut from Tuesday. More importantly, Bolt’s biggest rival, Justin Gatlin, has been slower this year than last, with a top time of 9.93 so far.

“It means that I’m in very good nick,” Bolt said of his time, which came with a 1.0 meters/second tailwind. “The more I run, the faster I’ll get, the smoother my running will come.”

Both Bolt and Gatlin dealt with offseason injuries since they were separated by .01 in the World Championships 100m final in Beijing on Aug. 23.

Bolt’s winning streak by days is the longest of his career — 1,102 days — but he has rarely faced this kind of competition since his last defeat to Gatlin on June 6, 2013.

Blake was Bolt’s biggest rival in 2012, when Blake beat Bolt in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Olympic Trials and took second to Bolt in both races at the London Games. Blake has since been slowed by injuries.

Powell, the world-record holder before Bolt swiped it in 2008, was the preeminent Jamaican sprinter until Bolt emerged before the Beijing Olympics.

Bolt, Powell and Blake, three of the four fastest men of all time, were last in the same race in the 2012 Olympic 100m final. Bolt and Blake last went head-to-head in the 2012 Olympic 200m final.

Bolt, Blake and Powell will likely race again at the Jamaican Olympic Trials from June 30-July 3 in Kingston, where the top three finishers per sprint event make the Olympic team individually.

“I was happy to compete against them, because it gives you insight, I would say, to see where you are at [ahead of] trials and what you need to work on,” Bolt said.

VIDEO: Bolt asked how many girlfriends he has in kids’ press conference

Saudi Arabia to host 2029 Asian Winter Games

Olympic Council of Asia
Getty
0 Comments

Saudi Arabia will host the Asian Winter Games in 2029 in mountains near the $500 billion futuristic city project Neom.

The Olympic Council of Asia on Tuesday picked the Saudi candidacy that centers on Trojena that is planned to be a year-round ski resort by 2026.

“The deserts & mountains of Saudi Arabia will soon be a playground for Winter sports!” the OCA said in a statement announcing its decision.

Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said the kingdom’s winter sports project “challenges perception” in a presentation of the plan to OCA members.

“Trojena is the future of mountain living,” the minister said of a region described as an area of about 60 square kilometers at altitude ranging from 1,500 to 2,600 meters.

The Neom megaproject is being fund by the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund.

Saudi Arabia also will host the Asian Games in 2034 in Riyadh as part of aggressive moves to build a sports hosting portfolio and help diversify the economy from reliance on oil.

A campaign to host soccer’s 2030 World Cup is expected with an unprecedented three-continent bid including Egypt and Greece.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Jim Redmond, who helped son Derek finish 1992 Olympic race, dies

0 Comments

Jim Redmond, who helped his injured son, Derek, finish his 1992 Olympic 400m semifinal, died at age 81 on Sunday, according to the British Olympic Association, citing family members.

At the 1992 Barcelona Games, Derek pulled his right hamstring 15 seconds into his 400m semifinal, falling to the track in anguish.

He brushed off help from officials, got up and began limping around the track. About 120 meters from the finish line, he felt the presence of an uncredentialed man who rushed down the stadium stairs, dodged officials and said, “We started this together, and we’re going to finish this together,” according to Olympedia.org.

“As I turned into the home straight, I could sense this person was about to try and stop me,” Derek said in an NBC Olympics profile interview before the 2012 London Games. “I was just about to get ready to sort of fend them off, and then I heard a familiar voice of my dad. He said, ‘Derek, it’s me. You don’t need to do this.'”

Derek said he shouted to his dad that he wanted to finish the race.

“He was sort of saying things like, ‘You’ve got nothing to prove. You’re a champion. You’ll come back. You’re one of the best guys in the world. You’re a true champion. You’ve got heart. You’re going to get over this. We’ll conquer the world together,'” Derek remembered. “I’m just sort of saying, ‘I can’t believe this is happening.'”

At one point, Derek noticed stadium security, not knowing who Jim was, having removed guns from their holsters.

“It’s the only time I’ve ever heard my dad use bad language,” Derek said. “He just goes, ‘Leave him alone, I’m his father.'”

Derek told himself in that moment, “I’m going to finish this race if it’s the last race I ever run.” It turned out to be the last 400m race of his career, after surgery and 18 months of rehab were not enough to yield a competitive comeback, according to Sports Illustrated.

Derek had missed the 1988 Seoul Games after tearing an Achilles, reportedly while warming up for his opening race. He looked strong in Barcelona, winning his first-round heat and quarterfinal.

“I’d rather be seen to be coming last in the semifinal than not finish in the semifinal,” he said, “because at least I can say I gave it my best.”