|The current Profile photo on Usain Bolt's Facebook Fan Page|
The decision followed an even more shocking development when, on Friday, August 6th, Usain lost to Tyson Gay of the United States in the 100 metres, his premier event, in Stockholm, Sweden. On August 6th, most Jamaicans were home from work celebrating Jamaica's 48th year of Independence. They expected Bolt to win, giving them a birthday present; the usual 'Bolt' resounding victory with maybe a new record to top it off. He DIDN'T! Shock and disbelief rippled across Facebook, which is a pulse for current and breaking news, confirming the power of social networks which threatens to outstrip the relevance of traditional media.
Unthinkable! Shocking! Bolt lost a race for the first time since he began his golden record-breaking stint; even competing against himself by breaking world records he himself had set.
It was obvious, it could not be 'business as usual'. The first official words from Usain's camp were sobering. Fan's were assured that they understood the severity of what had happened. A few hours after the race, Bolt's management team issued this statement via his Facebook Fan Page.
Usain Bolt "Dear Fans, I got beat today by an athlete who was in better form and shape than I was. It was one of those days...I got a great start, but there was no power and I came in second. There is no excuse! Thanks as usual for your support."
His fans, some of whom had earlier that day severely chastised Asafa for pulling out of the race which should have been a three-the-hard-way show down, were overly sympathetic towards Bolt. Unlike Asafa who had opted out of several races in the past at short notice, Bolt had always been a trooper who had 'pulled' through. A flamboyant character, he had given them win after win after win and a signature ~lightening~ pose which is now a signature '~BOLT`~ pose with or without any reference to the young athlete who hails from Trelawny, a rural parish in Jamaica renowned for its yams which has spawned a very popular Yam Festival, which is an annual crowd puller.
THE SIGNATURE BOLT POSE
In the press release issued a few hours ago, Bolt's management team stated: "After an assessment from his medical team we can confirm that Usain Bolt will close his 2010 track season and cancel his participation in the IAAF Diamond League meetings - Weltklasse Zurich and Memorial van Damme, Brussels.
Usain was examined yesterday (Monday, August 9) by Dr Hans Müller-Wohlfahrt in Munich who found a problem in his lower back. He has a tightness that restricts his ability to generate power in his stride and continuing to race in this condition could risk injury to his hamstrings or calf muscles. With a view to his future career we believe further treatment to loosen his back followed by a period of rest will be in his best interest. We are delighted to report that the MRI scan on his Achilles tendon showed that it has now completely healed"
Smart move! Some of you might remember early in his track career after his stunning debut at an event at the National Stadium in Kingston, which propelled him to stardom and gave a hint of his prowess on the track, that Bolt pulled a similar withdrawal strategy. At the time it created less waves as he was not so renowned but his absence was noted and talked about, especially in Jamaican circles.
Bolt has been going non-stop ever since the Olympics in Bejing in 2008, breaking recording after world record churning up the track, winning time after time, regular like clock work. Something has gone slightly askew! The world fastest man: Usain Lightening Bolt should not! cannot be beaten!! And by Tyson Gay!!?? That's like rubbing salt into a very grievous wound. Tyson has not endeared himself to Jamaicans and while he has not had any previous run-ins with Bolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson has their own rivalry long before Bolt emerged on top of world track, when Asafa was top dog holding the world 100 metres track title/record. Jamaica sports/track enthusiasts have the memory of elephants! This could not happen again! Bolt and his management team realizes this. A hiatus is just what the doctor has ordered! The world waits with bated breath for Bolt's next race, which by all appearances won't be before 2011.
Bolt has the last say: Usain’s reaction “I am very disappointed to miss two of the top meetings on the circuit – Zurich & Brussels – but trust that it is better for me not to take any risks this year. 2011 and 2012 are very important Championship years and I hope to be back fully fit and healthy. I would like to thank everyone for their support and look forward to coming back stronger next year.” Read the full press release here. TIME OUT!!
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