Athletics icon Usain Bolt experienced the rare feeling of being eclipsed at the final 200-meter race of the 2011 Diamond League at Brussels on Friday night.
Hardly had Bolt finished celebrating his win in the 100-meter event, where he improved the season’s fastest time claiming the distance in 9.76 seconds, than his spirits were dampened by his young training partner, Yohan Blake.
The Jamaican dumbfounded his decorated teammate by running 19.26 seconds in the men’s 200-meter final, with the second-best time in history and just 0.07 seconds off Bolt’s own world record, to scoop plaudits and a congratulatory hug from Bolt himself.
Bolt’s sprint dominance has been challenged twice in recent weeks by the same athlete. In late August, Blake grabbed the 100m title at the World Championships in Daegu after the Olympic champion, regarded as a safe bet, was disqualified due to a false start.
The world record holder, however, remains outwardly confident, claiming he is not worried by Blake’s recent successes.
“Listen, you need to understand, I’ve done great things. Yohan is coming, he is going to be a great athlete, but I’m not afraid of one athlete,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
“I’m still number one. He has to beat me a couple of times before I have to start getting worried. He still has a long way to go,” he continued, before adding that 2012 would be “an interesting season.”
Elsewhere, Sally Pearson of Australia saw a perfect season come to an abrupt end when she crashed halfway through the 100-meter hurdles, letting Danielle Carruthers of the United States speed ahead in 12.65.
In the high jump, Russia’s Anna Chicherova continued her domination over Croatian rival Blanka Vlasic. The world champion was in a league of her own at 2.05 meters and even went close to claiming the world record height of 2.10.
In the women’s 100-meter final, Carmelita Jeter of the United States confirmed her domination from Daegu. Even though Veronica Campbell-Brown had a fast start, the world champion came back and nipped her at the line to finish in 10.78 seconds, 0.07 seconds ahead of her Jamaican rival.