Hubert Lawrence: Bolting into the future

first_imgIt can only mean one thing. If Usain Bolt is contemplating an extension of his career beyond the 2017 World Championships, then his coach, Glen Mills, must have again set new acceptable targets for the tall man. Mills has done it before, and the sport of athletics is breathing a slow sigh of relief because he is doing it again. Had Bolt retired after his sport-altering 2008 and 2009 seasons, he would already have been the king of sprinters. It’s a no-brainer. The world-record doubles at the Beijing Olympics and the Berlin World Championships were, and still are, the stuff of legend. Mills had the tall man focused and led him on consistency. He came back to show how human he was with the infamous 100-metre false start at the 2011 Worlds and how brilliant he was with the rip-snorting Olympic double title defence in London almost four years ago. When he retained his Olympic crown in the 100m, he did it in 9.63 seconds. That’s inferior only to his world record of 9.58. Had he retired then, he would still be the best sprinter of all time. After all, no one had done the Olympic sprint double twice. Had he retired then, he’d have missed the 2013 and 2015 World Championships, where he reigned supreme. In 2015, his absence would have left Justin Gatlin as World 100-metre champion. Bolt will be 34 when the 2020 Olympics roll around. Glen Mills, however, has seen something in the athlete he has coached for more than a decade. Perhaps if and when Bolt loses the snap required to rule the 100m, they will concentrate on the 200 metres. If he doesn’t break the 19-second barrier this year or in 2017, that will be one reason to continue. If that barrier is breached by next season, it’s my guess that Bolt’s retirement would probably come as originally contemplated at the end of the 2017 season. There would hardly be any reason to run another step. The only target left would be the 400 metres. No one has ever won global titles at 100, 200, and 400 metres. If he sticks around past 2017, even with his well-known disinterest in the longest of sprints, Bolt could be the one. • Hubert Lawrence has been amazed by Bolt since 2002. AIMING FOR A RECORDlast_img read more

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Dominic Thiem beats Kyle Edmund to reach 3rd round in Barcelona Open

first_imgFourth-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria cruised to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kyle Edmund of Britain to advance to the third round of the Barcelona Open on Tuesday.Thiem saved all six break points he faced against Edmund to earn his 19th victory of the year. The ninth-ranked Austrian won the Rio Open title in February.Lucky loser Yuichi Sugita of Japan rallied to earn a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over ninth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France, who was playing in his first tournament for two months after recovering from appendicitis surgery.Eighth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany defeated 2013 finalist Nicolas Almagro of Spain 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4 in the second round despite trailing 3-1 in the decisive set.South African Kevin Anderson beat 13th-seeded David Ferrer of Spain 6-3, 6-4, while Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil defeated Renzo Olivo of Argentina 6-1, 6-1 to set up a second-round match against defending champion Rafael Nadal.Top-seeded Andy Murray will play his second-round match against Bernard Tomic of Australia, who defeated German Dustin Brown 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.last_img read more

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