The heat is on for Bolt at the world championships
DAEGU, South Korea // Usain Bolt, athletics' most marketable star, will be in action on the opening day of the 2011 world championships today by running in heats of the 100-metre dash.
The defending Olympic and world champion Jamaican kicks off his campaign to snag another sprint double when he takes to Daegu's blue track in the first round of the glamour event.
He has been in a confident mood ahead of the championships. "A lot of people have their own goals," he said on Thursday. "My goal is to become a legend.
"I'm working on it."
Missing from the heats, however, will be his three main rivals, compatriots Asafa Powell (groin injury) and Steve Mullings (doping), and the American Tyson Gay (hip injury).
Also in action on the opening day in South Korea is three-time defending world 200m champion, Allyson Felix, who goes in heats of the 400m in her bid for a memorable double.
The Jamaican trio of Rosemarie Whyte, Novlene Williams-Mills and Shericka Williams, the 2009 Berlin worlds silver medallist, will also be in the running for the 400m podium, along with Botswana's Amantle Montsho.
Felix put months of strife aside in storming to victory at the London Diamond League earlier this month in an impressive 49.66 seconds.
"Everyone is anxious; they want to get out there and lay it all down," Felix said.
The semi-finals will be run tomorrow with the final scheduled a day later.
"It's a challenging schedule, and I'm not the world leader in the events, so it's going to be tough," Felix said. "But it's a learning experience, and no matter what happens, I'll take away something for next year."
Felix admitted to feeling nervous, with her training having been tapered off after some intense sessions under coach Bob Kersee, following a short Diamond League season.
"I'm in territory I'm not too familiar with, so I'm definitely a little nervous, but that's what happens when you step up to a new challenge," she said.
"It hurts," she said of the 400. "It's not the most pleasant event, but the more I run it the more used to it you become. It's all about executing and doing the exact things I need to, that's what I visualise."
David Rudisha, the Kenyan world-record holder, opens his campaign in the heats of the 800m, looking for an easy ride through to tomorrow's semi-final.
FIVE CLASSIC MOMENTS
1. Mike Powell long jump world record (Tokyo, 1991)
Trailing US compatriot Carl Lewis’s leap of 8.91 metres, Powell, above, soared through the Tokyo night to land a stunning 8.95m to eclipse Bob Beamon’s 1968 record by five centimetres.
2. Usain Bolt 100m-200m world record double (Berlin, 2009)
The Jamaican scorched the blue Berlin track with times even faster than his stunning 2008 Olympic world-record performance. His records of 9.58 seconds in the 100m and 19.19 secs in the 200m still stand.
3. Jonathan Edwards triple jump world record (Gothenburg, 1995)
The Briton’s opening hop, step and jump covered a world-record 18.16m. On his next attempt, the future Olympic champion (2000) increased the mark to the still-standing 18.29m.
4. Michael Johnson 400m world record (Seville, 1999)
The Texan made his fourth consecutive 400m world title the sweetest, wiping out Butch Reynolds’s 1988 record with a sizzling run of 43.18 secs that still stands. Already the 200m world record holder, and first Olympic champion at both 200m and 400m in the same Games (Atlanta 1996), he clipped 11 hundredths of a second off Reynolds’s record.
5. Carl Lewis and a 100m for the ages (Tokyo, 1991)
The American regained the world record with in a blazing 9.86 secs. Six men also ran 9.96 secs or faster in what was considered the greatest sprint race of all time.
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Published: August 26, 2011 04:00 AM