Harnessing a Bolt

Posted on November 17, 2011

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By Tony Sunzeri

Harnessing a lightning bolt is virtually impossible. Even if you’re Marty McFly and you can predict the exact time in which an atmospheric electrostatic discharge strikes the clock tower in fictional Hill Valley. That leads me straight into sprinting, the most exciting Olympic Sport in my opinion. You might be saying, “Tony, what does a 1985 film about time travel have to do with sprinting??!!” Nothing. But trying to catch a lightning bolt is exactly what the fastest humans ever to lace up running spikes will try to attempt to do in London as the 2012 Olympiad creeps closer.

On Tuesday, American sprinter Michael Johnson told BBC radio that Jamaican superstar sprinter Usain Bolt “will not” and “can not win 4 gold medals in London. “I see no reason why he shouldn’t be able to repeat as an Olympic gold medalist in the 100, 200 and the (400 relay), but the (1,600 relay) is going to be tough,” said Johnson, who won the 200 and 400 golds at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the 400 in Sydney four years later.  “You can’t train for the 400 as well. It would be an absolute distraction and the training wouldn’t work.  I think he could be the world-record holder at 400 meters but he’s said that he has no interest in training for it, which I can understand — it’s a difficult race to train for.  It’s tough because you need to train differently for the 400 meter sprint.”

It’s exhausting, it’s crazy, and when run correctly you feel like death!  It’s called the 400 meter “dash”, but should be re-named to the 400 meter “nutty, stupid, whacked out, survival sprint”. Put more eloquently, Wikipedia describes it thusly: “the 400 metres (metres is how you correctly spell it, but I refuse to give in) require substantial endurance to sustain a fast speed over a whole lap. The 400 m is often considered to be one of the more difficult sprinting events because of this.” The current World Record holder is the aforementioned Johnson in this event, and if he says Bolt can be wrangled, I believe him. Do you?

Contact Tony at Sunzeri@me.com and follow him on Twitter @Sunzeri

 

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