Undoubtedly, the most anticipated race in the London Olympic Games is the Men’s 100m final, which promises to deliver a testosterone-charged showdown for the most coveted title, “The World’s Fastest Man.” The 100m, like the 110m hurdles, poses a problem in picking the winner when there’s such a contending field; anything can happen. Who will be the first to the line? How will it go down?
“Lightning” Bolt is by far the favorite to win, but can he replicate what he did in the 2008 Olympics? Not so easy. He has Yohan “The Beast” Blake, Asafa “The Lion” Powell, and Tyson Gay to contend with. These four will have to fend off four others who will be at their supreme best on the day of reckoning, tomorrow, Sunday. I expect the final eight to be Bolt, Blake and Powell of Jamaica; Gay, Justin Gatlin and Ryan Bailey of the USA, Christophe Lemaitre, France; and Keston Bledman, Trinidad and Tobago. Richard Thompson, also of Trinidad, may be substituted for Bailey, but Thompson has not been up to form this year.
Lightning and Thunder
London is known for its fickle weather that brings rain. But a storm accompanied by lightning and thunder is in the forecast for the track where the big guns will clash. The best part of Lightning Bolt’s race is his last 50 meters, but so is Blake’s. Bolt does not have an advantage, except for his Olympic experience, which means little in going up against Blake and company. Both athletes train together and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so how can experience work for Bolt here? His camp claims he is 95% fit, unlike at the Jamaica National Trials in June. If so, Bolt will definitely be the man to beat. Indeed, a storm is brewing. Will thunder roll and Blake win gold? If Blake gets up one meter ahead of Bolt, lightning will have a problem outdoing the thunder of The Beast.
My heart wishes Asafa to win, along with so many other Jamaicans. This is likely his last chance to win a medal. Blake, Gay and Powell are close in performance. Their commonality is that they know they can beat one another other. Their shared threat is Bolt, and each could be secretly wishing to catch him on a bad day. All can run in the vicinity of 9.6; they have come close. Gatlin, who has been quiet lately, stands outside of this realm. Gay is an unknown factor, for his form and speed are unsure. However, he still poses a threat to a Jamaican sweep and could take the bronze.
So how will it go down? I see gold to Usain Bolt, silver to Yohan Blake and bronze to Powell or Gay. These three should be followed by Gatlin 4th, Lemaitre 5th.