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Usain Bolt – Lightning Strikes Thrice

Usain Bolt - Lightning Strikes Thrice

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This summer, there is plenty to be excited about in the sporting amphitheatre. Boxing will crown its first undisputed heavyweight champion in over 20 years as Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk clash in Saudi Arabia. In football, FA Cup predictions are running rampant as to who will win the all-Manchester final at Wembley, while the UEFA European Championships are also set to capture the attention. But the biggest sporting event of them all comes from the world of athletics as the Paris 2024 Olympic Games get underway in August. 

Over the years, there have been plenty of icons to have made their name on the grandest stage, but perhaps none resonates more with fans than that of Usain Bolt. The Jamaican sensation’s unprecedented treble-treble of Olympic gold medals in 2008, 2012, and 2016 has secured his legacy as the fastest man who has ever lived, transcending the sport of athletics and becoming a global icon in the process.

The Dawn of a Legend

It was in the stunning Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing in 2008, that Bolt first announced himself to the world. His performances were nothing short of sensational, setting new records in both the 100m and 200m sprints. In the former of those two categories, the lanky sprinter wasn’t considered the outright favourite lining up against fellow Jamaican stars Asafa Powell and Michael Frater. But while those two faltered, the great man certainly didn’t. 

He finished the 100m dash in a breathtaking 9.69 seconds, shattering his previous world record, and followed this up with a 200m victory in a rapid-fire 19.30, breaking Michael Johnson’s long-standing record to boot. His dominance was such that he appeared to decelerate before crossing the finish line, beating his chest in triumph. He went on to complete the treble as he romped to glory in the 4x100m relay as well – also in a world record to make it three from three – but nine years later he would be stripped of that gold following the failed drug test of team-mate Nesta Carter. 

Cementing Greatness

When London 2012 rolled around, expectations for the planet’s most recognizable sprinter were sky-high. Despite facing stiff competition and questions over his fitness, Bolt silenced his critics in spectacular fashion, defending his 100m title with the second-fastest in history, narrowly behind the record he set at the Berlin World Championships in 2009. Victory in the 200m shortly followed thereafter. 

He topped off his London campaign by…

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