Give Usain Bolt a rest on his birthday. After two gold medals and two world records in six days, he surely deserves it.
BERLIN — Give Usain Bolt a rest on his birthday. After two gold medals and two world records in six days, he surely deserves it.
And don't count on the Jamaican relay runners to drop the baton without him during today's heats. It would be the worst possible present for a man already celebrating his greatness at 23.
"I am on my way to being a legend," Bolt said.
Few would doubt that.
In his last five major finals going back to the Olympics, he has five gold medals and five world records. On Saturday, he wants to make it a perfect six-for-six and repeat his Beijing Olympics 100, 200 and relay feat.
With his blowout win in the 200 late Thursday and world record of 19.19 seconds, he led Jamaica to a 3-0 sprint lead over the U.S. team, with the women's 200 final set for today.
Now, it's up to Felix to salvage some sprinting pride for the Americans.
There is nothing Felix can do about Bolt, but after winning three golds at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, Japan, she knows something about streaks.
And after failing to win gold last year at the Olympics until the 400-meter relay, Felix has something to make up. She feels up to it.
"I feel I still have a lot of energy," she said after two days of heats. "I'd love to win. I feel good."
As perfect as the Jamaicans are in the sprints, so are the Russians in the walking events at the world championships.
Russia made three-for-three today when Sergey Kirdyapkin used late sure to win the 50-kilometer walk today, the longest event in the nine-day championships.
Kirdyapkin was as imposing as Valeriy Borchin and Olga Kaniskina were over 20 kilometers, giving Russia a clean sweep in the discipline.
Later today, Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown will try to keep Jamaica's domination going in the sprints in the 200, where her toughest competition will come from defending champion Allyson Felix of the United States.
The Jamaicans are riding an incredible high with five gold medals overall in the championships. The Jamaican team has drawn nearly all its inspiration from Bolt.
Bolt has boosted Jamaica to the top of the medal standings with five golds and nine overall. The United States is second with four gold and 13 overall. Kirdyapkin's victory gave Russia three golds and 10 overall for third place.
Gritting his teeth and pointing to the clock as soon as the record flashed, he slashed 0.11 seconds off the mark he set last year. And it came four days after breaking his 100 record by the same margin.
Bolt's spirits got a boost before the start when teammate Melaine Walker added the world title to her Olympic gold in the women's 400 hurdles.
With a new take on former President John F. Kennedy's famous Cold War quote "Ich bin ein Berliner," Bolt pleased the locals with a training jersey saying "Ich bin ein Berlino," referring to the bear mascot of the championships.
His running was even better than his show. From Lane 5, he gobbled up all the opposition by the end of the curve, and then let those huge arms and legs loose in a whirl of unmatched speed.
Once across the line, he stuck out his tongue much like basketball great Michael Jordan. And in track, he now has the same unmatched stature.
Other finals today include the men's 400, pitting defending champion Jeremy Wariner against Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, the high jump and the women's discus.