In a Nutshell Usain Bolt

Published on October 17th, 2016 | by Sukanya Ray Ghosh

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Usain Bolt: The man with lightning speed

Usain Bolt, the only person who holds a ‘triple treble’ Olympic record, is currently the fastest man alive. The Jamaican sprinter is the first person to hold the 100 meters and 200 meters world records. His popularity worldwide soared with his victory at the two individual sprint events in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Bolt won 9 Olympic medals at three consecutive Olympics – Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He won these in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 meters relay events.

Watching Usain Bolt sprinting to victory is a wonder in itself. In the last few laps of the race, he seems to accelerate drastically and shoot to his victory, leaving all the rest of his competitors some distance behind. Experts have been observing the legendary sprinter over the years to analyze the science behind his success. Technically, his freakishly tall figure of 6’5” is supposed to work against him at a sprinting event. To accelerate the speed, an athlete is supposed to take shorter steps at the beginning of a race. Bolt’s tall frame does not allow this to happen. However, when he reaches his peak speed, he has a greater advantage over the others because his long strides reduce the number of steps he takes. Like every other sprinter, Bolt accelerates his speed at the beginning and slows down considerably in the latter half of the race. However, he slows down at a far lesser rate than the other athletes. This helps him to widen the gap with the rest of his competitors and creates the illusion of him speeding up in the second half.

Since 2008, Usain Bolt has won every world championship but one in sprint events. He set the world 100 meters record at Berlin, Germany by clocking a time of 9.58 seconds. Bolt’s fastest recorded speed is 27.8 miles per hour.

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