Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Usain Bolt is ready for Daegu. Is he?

Usain Bolt is ready for Daegu. Is he?
by rick olivares

He is the most famous Jamaican since Bob Marley.  Some might say that he may be a tad arrogant. Or maybe it’s because he is so supremely talented that he isn’t boasting at all and his greatness is as sure as the sun rising the following day.

Witness… last July 22 when Usain Bolt said that he hasn’t been fully able to prepare and train for the 13th World Championships in Athletics that will take place from August 27-September 4 in Daegu, South Korea. Yet the world’s fastest man, in only his third race this 2011, won the 100-meter race in the Monaco Diamond League at a time of 9.88 seconds.

He actually improved his personal best by 0.03 seconds in the meet but it was short of the world mark of 9.58 seconds.

Bolt beat a strong field that included fellow Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, American Michael Rodgers, and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre. Carter and Rodgers finished second and third with times of 9.90 and 9.96 respectively.

Despite a tentative start, Bolt surged ahead in the final 20 meters.

"For me it’s working on my reaction time,” said the Olympic gold medal winner. “Especially in the last 60 meters. I've been doing great in training, so I'm just focusing and I feel that I’m ready."

In a show of force, Bolt, stiff back and all, ended a two-year losing streak at the DN Galan Super Grand Prix track meet last July 29 at Stockholm, Sweden with a victory in the 200-meter event while clocking in at 20.03 seconds.

This is the man who before he lined up on the track with seven of the world’s fastest men in the Beijing Olympics, had Chicken McNuggets all week and nearly took off the starting line with the laces of a shoe untied. In fact, he isn’t fully pre-occupied with track events. His favorite topic is football and his favorite club Manchester United. He hardly watches track meets and professes to watch Roger Federer when the world's best tennis player is competing.

But once the race is on, expect the sprinter to be fully focused.

“For me, London will be bigger than Beijing,” pronounced Bolt who won gold medals in three sprinting events in the 2008 Olympics making him the first since Carl Lewis turned the trick in 1984. Although Lewis won four gold medals in the Los Angeles Olympiad, Bolt’s achievement was even more mind-boggling – he set world records in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4x100-meter relay.

Bolt was hampered by injuries for about a year now and his focus is not on try to break his world record but on defending his sprint titles in South Korea. "My aim this season is to run 9.7, maybe 9.6," explained Bolt. "For me, Daegu is the first step to London.”

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