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Backley: Never write off Bolt

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Bolt celebrates his big win with... Wenlock?

Anyone who underestimated Usain Bolt is absolutely bonkers.

I had fallen for that once before, and I wasn't falling for it again. The fact is, Bolt knows where his bread is buttered. He only needs to be at his best for the big championships - that is where he and everyone else is judged.

He has entered legendary status by retaining his title, and is the first post-war athlete to do so on the track.

If anybody fell for the notion that his time had passed, I can only hope that the phrase 'once bitten' rings a bell.

In Stratford, we saw the old Usain Bolt. One that was an arm's length from a new world record. It was a brilliant performance.

I'd dare say that perhaps only something such as the climate in the Olympic Stadium or perhaps fear of a false start prevented him from setting a new best — he got off to a bit of a nervy start - and given the right circumstances I believe he will.

He out-performed himself in Beijing considerably, and if you put Beijing, London and Berlin in order you would have the 2012 time right between the two.

This performance sets things up nicely for the 200 metres and the relay, though the Americans will certainly be a handful.

Although the clock does not lie, I feel it does not tell the whole story of just how much Usain blew the rest of the field away. If you look at the times — 9.63 to 9.75 — it looked like more than that to me, watching the race. It was just a sensational run.

The World Championships last year appear to have been just the kick up the backside Bolt needed, while his compatriot Yohan Blake — who resembled a professional wrestling character with his antics on the start line — may just end up becoming a perennial bridesmaid with the exception of Daegu.

His 100m effort was very good, but he may well have to wait for the day Bolt calls it quits before he truly has a chance to take the crown.

Bolt often hinted that the end wasn't far away, but the defence of his Olympic title may well breathe new life into him.


Dwain Chambers and Adam Gemili, representing Great Britain, I felt did okay out there. The latter in particular impressed because he is the future: he did himself proud, it's safe to say.

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Adam Gemili takes a momentary lead in his 100m heat

Gemili's time in the first round showed me that for an 18-year-old in the Olympics, he carries himself very well and has the air of a future champion.

Christine Ohuruogu also looked excellent on the night. She nabbed herself another Olympic medal, if only silver, and with another five metres she would have retained her title.

Another one to keep an eye on is Robbie Grabarz. He qualified for the high jump final and he too has something about him which is very special indeed. Whatever it is that makes a top athlete, Robbie has got it in bucketloads.

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