Usain Bolt reveals why his 100m World record could have gone horribly wrong

The 2008 Beijing Games was the first time that Usain Bolt smashed the 100m World record and he was a whisker away from blowing it all apart.

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is the synonym of track and field events around the globe. An absolute superstar, on and off the field, Bolt has achieved a lot in his illustrious career. Regarded as the fastest man ever to be born on planet earth, Bolt holds the world record in both, the 100m as well as 200m races.

Winner of as many as 8 Olympics Gold medals, the Jamaican is the only sprinter ever to win Olympic 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics from 2008 till 2016. Moreover, the ‘lightning Bolt’ has also won two 4×100 relay gold medals at the biggest stage. The Jamaican earned all these accolades during a senior career that lasted just over a decade.

Usain Bolt broke the 100m World record for the first time at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as he clocked 9.69s to take the gold medal. The Jamaican then went on better the record numerous times but there is always something special when one achieves a feat for the first time.

“People started talking about it,” Usain Bolt points out the fatal flaw in his World record race

Usain Bolt in his iconic victory pose
Usain Bolt in his iconic victory pose

While Bolt achieved the unthinkable, he made a grave mistake in the 2008 Beijing Games 100m final. The former Olympic champion ran the race with a shoelace untied the whole time. Had Usain Bolt stepped on it, we could not have witnessed history being scripted at Beijing.

People started talking about it and I started watching the videos, people saying my shoe was untied and I didn’t even notice,” Bolt said. “It could have gone horribly wrong. For me, it was never about the world record. It was about winning. My main aim was to win.

That is why I beat my chest when I crossed the line. It was just pure joy. I think ’08 was the hardest I have ever trained in my whole career. I worked so hard because I wanted it so bad. It was just pure joy and it just came out. I had done it, and it was a moment I will never forget.

The first Olympic 100m final since Usain Bolt’s departure was a lacklustre affair, with Marcell Jacobs clocking 9.80sec at Tokyo to secure the elusive gold medal. The great showman feels that he could have pocketed the medal had he featured in the final. During his time in the middle, Bolt won a whopping eight Olympic gold medals.

My coach said something to me at the end of my career. He said, ‘People are not getting faster. I was getting slower.’ I never looked at it that way,” said Bolt. “And it’s the facts because a lot of guys don’t really get faster. Because I have pushed the barrier so far and then I started going backwards time-wise, so for me 9.80 was possible to get done.

Also read: I do everything slow’: Usain Bolt opens about ‘one thing people are surprised by a lot’