Thursday, August 20, 2009

19.19 Is More Impressive Than 9.58

I mean, really. Holy Shit. They are both incredibly impressive, world-record, field-dominating finishes for Usain Bolt. The 9.58 in the 100 meter was simply sick, and prompted Michael Johnson, (a guy who knows about domination in sprints) to suggest that that Bolt could be unbeatable. (And that Bolt could break the 19 second barrier in the 200)

ESPN News just had a Larry Rawson on and he took Bolt's 200 time and broke the first 40 yards to make it an NFL Combine time. NFL followers know what is fast--4.2, 4.3, that kind of time is a speedster. Rawson's math puts Bolt's first 40 yards of a race more than 5 times that long at 3.82. That's ridiculous. And he's 6' 5". I bet Al Davis is calling him right now.

I'm going to use some much more basic math to explain my headline. In the 200, they don't talk splits, but they should, especially when 100 meter specialists are running it. The 200 isn't a straight track--you've got to know how to run the curve, and it isn't easy. Even the best 200 meter sprinters don't make up the stagger 2 or 3 lanes out in the first 50--Bolt did.

But here's my basic math--take that 19.19 time, and split it. It comes to 9.595, which is just a shade off of Bolt's 100 meter time of 9.58. It is possible he ran the curve faster than anyone else has ever run a straight-ahead 100 meter dash? That seems impossible, but it is either that, or his straightaway part of the 2oo meter was something like a 9.3. No matter how you break down that 200 time, it seems nothing short of impossible. Let's put it another way--double his 100 meter time, and that comes to 19.16. It is mindblowing that his 200 meter time is so close to that. I don't know if anyone beside Usain Bolt is going to break the records he is setting. And I think he will be breaking both of them. I don't know about sub 19 for the 200, but I'm guessing his 100 meter will drop to like 9.53 before this decade is done. And his records will stand for a few decades.

Watch it, and see how hard he dusted a field of the best 200 meter runners in the world (relevant 19.19 seconds start at the 1:05 mark). Thank you European TV, for not being dicks about the rights, maybe?

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