Jamaican Sets World Record in 100 Meters

Bolt's 9.72 second mark comes in only 5th pro race at the distance
By Chip Bayers,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2008 5:38 AM CDT
Jamaica's Usain Bolt breaks the tape with a world record time of 9.72 seconds in the men's 100 Meter sprint at the Reebok Grand Prix athletics meet Saturday night, May 31, 2008 in New York.    (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
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(Newser) – Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, a 200 meter specialist who only recently began running against elite competition at 100 meters, raced to a new world record of 9.72 seconds at the shorter distance last night in New York City's Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island. Cheered by a partisan crowd waving his nation's green and gold flag, Bolt beat reigning world champ Tyson Gay of the US out of the blocks and never let him get close.

“I knew if I got Tyson on the blocks, I’d have a better chance of winning,” the 21-year-old Bolt told the Times. “I got him.” Gay beat Bolt in the 200 meters at last year's world championships. His mark eclipses one set last September by countryman Asafa Powell by .02 seconds. Before the race, Bolt's coach had suggested he might not run the shorter race in the Olympics to better his chance at 200 gold; Bolt said those plans may change now.