Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Usain Bolt breaks world 150 meter best...

In a specially staged race in Manchester, England on Sunday, Jamaica's Usain Bolt broke the world best at the rarely contested 150 meter sprint at BUPA Great City Games on a track laid in the center of this northern English city.

The 22-year-old Bolt clocked 14.35 seconds for the 150m straight dash, smashing the previous world's best.

IAAF media consultant and BBC statistician Mark Butler confirms that the previous fastest legal time in a 150m race was 14.8 sec by 1980 Olympic 200m champion Pietro Mennea of Italy who ran his time in Cassino, Italy on 22 May 1983.

Here is video of the race:

Bolt's race brought back memories of an event I actually covered twelve years ago in Toronto--the much hyped match race between 1996 Olympic 100 meter champion Donovan Bailey and 200/400 champion Michael Johnson in June 1997 at the SkyDome.

Despite the outcome of the race, which saw Johnson pull up with an injury at around the 60 meter mark, that event, which was supposed to net the winner $1 million (the fine print--each received an appearance fee around $500,000 with the winner receiving another $500K) probably gave the sport the most attention in a post-Olympic year.

Here's the race:

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