Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Asafa - Bolt Race

When the starter's gun goes off at the beginning of the very first heat of the 100 metres sprint at the 2008 Olympics, all eyes in my house will be peeled for a confrontation between Jamaican sensations Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt. The American, Tyson Gay of course will be put in the mix (hopefully he'll recover from his hamstring injury) to afford track and field lovers what must be the biggest anticipated showdown for a long time. That is of course if Bolt actually runs the 100, for although he qualified in the Jamaican national trials, he and his coach have not yet stated definitively whether Bolt will participate or merely focus on his true love the 200. How can the world record holder opt out of the event.? Let us hope this is a public relations manoeuvre.

These two stars provided us with a treat yesterday at the Stockholm grand prix meet. This time Asafa who was outclassed by Bolt at the trials in Jamaica in June, gave his own self confidence and that of his fans, a well needed boost as he pipped Bolt by .01 seconds. This is a race where obviously every millisecond counts!

While my favourite to win is Bolt, I have more than a passing sentimental desire to see Asafa take home a gold medal in an Olympic event, for it is well known that his scintillating perfomances are usually reserved for less distinguished meets.

While we enjoy the track and field drama, we read with horror the report of an interview with the disgraced Ben Johnson of steroid use and the lengths to which athletes will go to avoid detection.

"The men use a catheter to force the urine back up the urethra. The females refill the bladder by syringing the replacement urine through a tiny tube."
Given the amazing sub 10 times being run by these athletes it is to be expected that questions will be asked. Hopefully both the competition and the test results will prove to be clean.

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