Caribbean cruise in 100 meters

The Baltimore Sun

BEIJING - Usain Bolt isn't among the many athletes who listen to music with headphones before they compete. His coach, Glen Mills, doesn't allow it, worrying it will interfere with Bolt's concentration.

But that didn't stop Bolt from doing a little dancing before he stepped into the blocks last night at the Olympics, before the crowd of 91,000 at the Bird's Nest went quiet for the start of the men's 100-meter final.

Bolt won the 100 meters in a time, 9.69 seconds, that broke his own 11-week-old world record of 9.72.

His rivals still couldn't catch up. Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago ran a personal-best 9.89 and was farther from first than any other Olympic silver medalist since 1984. Walter Dix of the United States was third in a personal-best 9.91, and Churandy Martina fourth in a Netherlands Antilles record 9.93.

Asafa Powell of Jamaica finished fifth. Reigning world champion Tyson Gay of the United States was eliminated in the semifinals.

"In the past, the United States sprinters dominated," Thompson said. "It feels good for the Caribbean to be creating this kind of dominance."

Never before yesterday had there been more than three Caribbean sprinters in an Olympic men's 100 final.

"For the Caribbean, this final said that the things I used to dream of, I'm seeing [it]in my lifetime," said Ato Boldon, a four-time Olympic sprint medalist from Trinidad and Tobago.

Bolt agreed.

"This means a lot for my country," he said of his triumph.

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