5 Aug 2008

Bolt's presence makes for sprint classic

11:39 am on 5 August 2008

Confirmation that the world record holder Usain Bolt will be running in the Olympic 100 metres has elevated the blue riband event of the athletics programme to even more mouth-watering levels.

Bolt, a world championship silver medalist over 200 metres, blasted his way into the 100 metres reckoning with his world record 9.72 run in May but confirmed only on Monday he would run both races in Beijing.

His Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell and the American world champion Tyson Gay complete an awesome trio.

With the big three all owning sub-9.8 second times and with two further Americans, Darvis Patton and Walter Dix, owning personal bests of 9.89 and 9.93 respectively, also likely to be in the mix, fireworks certainly look in store for the August 16 final.

When Justin Gatlin won in 2004 the first five runners all went under 10 seconds, the first time it had happened in an Olympic final, and it would not be a huge surprise if all eight finalists dipped under that barrier.