Usain Bolt’s journey to greatness: A nostalgic look back at his first 100m world record

Usain Bolt’s first break of the 100m World Record on May 31, 2008, at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York City, is a cherished memory for track fans worldwide.

This milestone marked the beginning of Bolt’s legendary journey to becoming one of the greatest track athletes in history.

On that memorable day in New York, Bolt outclassed a star-studded field, including then world champion Tyson Gay, to set a new world record of 9.72 seconds with a wind speed of 1.7m/s.

This achievement broke his compatriot Asafa Powell’s previous record of 9.74 seconds, set the previous year. Bolt had already shown promise earlier that month by improving his personal best to 9.76 seconds at the Jamaica Invitational.

Bolt’s first world record set the stage for an illustrious career. Just months later, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, he further lowered the 100m world record to 9.69 seconds.

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The following year, at the Berlin 2009 World Championships, he set the current world record of 9.58 seconds, a mark that remains unbeaten.

In addition to his 100m exploits, Bolt excelled in the 200m, setting a new world and Olympic record of 19.30 seconds in Beijing and then lowering it to 19.19 seconds in Berlin.

Usain Bolt and compatriot Blake after a relay victory.

Throughout his career, Bolt amassed 8 Olympic gold medals and 11 World Championships gold medals. He became the first sprinter in history to win three consecutive 100m and 200m titles in both the Olympics and World Championships.

Fans have fondly remembered Usain Bolt’s historic 2008 race, sharing their memories and reactions on social media. One fan, Jack, tweeted, “This race is one of my first memories of watching track on TV ⚡️.”

Bolt’s impact on the sport remains profound. His remarkable speed, charisma, and sportsmanship continue to inspire athletes and fans alike. His world records in both the 100m and 200m are testaments to his unparalleled talent.

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