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Jamaican Speed Machine: Usain Bolt

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Usain St. Leo Bolt, is a Jamaican sprinter and a three-time World and Olympic gold medalist. He is the first man to win six Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and a five-time World champion.

He is the world record and Olympic record holder in the 100 metres, the 200 metres and along with his teammates, the 4 x 100 metres relay. He is the reigning World and Olympic champion in these three events.

Bolt was born on 21 August 1986 in Sherwood Content a small town in Trelawny, Jamaica, and grew up with his parents Wellesley and Jennifer Bolt and two siblings; brother Sadeeki and sister Sherine. His parents ran the local grocery store in the rural area. Bolt spent his chaildhood time in playing cricket and football in the street with his brother. This is the clear picture of Usain Bolt's carrier and achievements:


He performed for Jamaica in his first Caribbean regional event, and clocked a personal best of 48.28 s in the 400 metres in the 2001 CARIFTA Games, winning a silver medal. The 200 m also yielded a silver as Bolt finished in 21.81 s.


The 2002 World Junior Championships before a home crowd in Kingston, Jamaica, gave Bolt a chance to prove his credentials on the world stage. By the age of 15, he had grown to 1.96 metres (6 ft 5 in) tall, and he physically stood out amongst his peers. He won the 200 m, in a time of 20.61 s, which was 0.03 seconds slower than his personal best of 20.58 s set in the 1st round. Bolt's 200 m win made him the youngest world-junior gold medalist ever.

Carrier Records

Bolt's personal best of 9.58 seconds in the 100 metres is the fastest ever legal time. He also holds the second fastest time of 9.69 seconds the current Olympic record. Tyson Gay recorded a time of 9.68 s at the 2008 US Olympic Trials, but was aided with a tail wind of 4.1 m/s, exceeding the legal limit of 2.0 m/s set by the IAAF and nullifying its inclusion as a world record. Bolt's personal best of 19.19 s in the 200 metres is the world record. This was recorded at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics in Berlin against a headwind of -0.3 m/s. He has also broken the Olympic record with a time of 19.30 s. The Jamaican relay team including Bolt, set the 4x100 metres world and Olympic records at the 2008 Olympics with a time of 37.10 seconds. Bolt also holds the 200 metres world teenage best results for the age categories 15 (20.58 s), 16 (20.13 s, world youth record), 17 (19.93 s) and 18 (19.93 s, world junior record). He also holds the 150 metres world best set in 2009, during which he ran the last 100 metres in 8.70 seconds, the quickest timed 100 metres ever.

Speed Machine

From his record time of 9.58 s for the 100 m sprint Usain Bolt's average ground speed equates to: 37.58 km/h or 23.35 mph. However, once his reaction time of 0.15 s is subtracted, his time is closer to 9.43 s, making his average speed closer to 38.18 km/h or 23.72 mph.

Awards & Recognition

As a result of Bolt's successes in athletics, he was awarded several times by different titles:

IAAF World Athlete of the Year: 2008, 2009

Track & Field Athlete of the Year: 2008, 2009

BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year: 2008, 2009

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: 2009, 2010 (TIMExplore.com)