By Josh Powell
It is always one of the stand-out highlights of the Olympic games. The 100 metre sprint lasts little more than nine-and-a-half seconds but it is the most exciting and eagerly awaited moment in the games.
This year will be no different as Usain Bolt who holds the world-record of 9.58 seconds will try to set the world alight again.
His performance in Beijing was nothing short of outstanding as he blew the competition away setting records in the 100 and 200 metres. His charisma, beaming smile and signature ‘pointing to something in the distance’ pose was lapped up by the fans. But that was four years ago and things aren’t looking so rosy for the 25-year-old anymore – despite what the funny Virgin adverts may lead you to believe.
Yohan Blake trains at the same camp that Bolt runs at and recently beat Bolt in both the 100m and 200m Jamaican trials. Blake is nicknamed ‘The Beast’ and has been laying down some serious times in the build up to the London games. He’s pulled out a 9.75 for the 100m and a blistering 19.26 over 200m which is the second-fastest time in history. Bolt likes to give off the aurora of a man who hasn’t got a care in the world but has The Beast got inside his head?
Evolution of the 100m
Bolt is the favourite for the 100m gold at 5/6 with Paddy Power but it will be far from straightforward. In fact looking at the times set by his competitors this season, this could be the fastest 100m final we will ever see. Justin Gatlin has done a 9.80, Asafa Powell has run a 9.85 and Tyson Gay has nailed a 9.86. With all five firing on all cylinders it would be no surprise to see a number of them break 9.80 as they cross the line.
Yohan Blake is a 7/5 shot for the 100m with Paddy Power and has been getting steady support since beating Bolt in the Jamaican trials. Of the rest Tyson Gay is 9/1, Gatlin is 18/1 and Powell is 25/1 but this is far from a two-horse race.
Bolt will have his work cut out in London and you can expect The Beast to match him stride for stride as they eat up the track. In a race that could easily last less than nine-and-a-half seconds, it really is a case of blink and you’ll miss it.