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Sprinting star with showbiz attitude.

Byline: Steve Ovett

USAIN BOLT is now so good that he is on the border between sport and showbiz.

For too long, athletics has lacked celebrities who can walk the walk and talk the talk, but after last night's 200m triumph, Bolt proved again he is good enough to do both.

There is no point in being a showman if you can't live up to the hype.

Muhammad Ali would never have called himself "the 'Greatest" if he was a second-rate boxer - people would have laughed at him instead of laughing along with him.

And after retaining both his 100m and 200m Olympic titles, Bolt is now in the same orbit.

He took to the track wearing his baseball cap back to front and playing up to the crowd, but when it was time to go to work, his application was spot on.

Yohan Blake came back at him in the home straight, and the winning margin was only 0.12sec, but Bolt's bend running was accomplished and that's where the race was won. With Warren Weir making it a 1-2-3 for Jamaica, there can be no doubt now, if there was any before, that the United States is no longer the powerhouse of sprinting, and that will be a bitter pill for them to swallow.

But with respect to Bolt, whose popularity with the public is untouchable right now, the standout performance of the night was the world record of David Rudisha (above) in the fastest 800m race of all time.

It is very rare, especially in middle-distance running, for a world record to fall in an Olympic final because there is nobody to act as a pacemaker.

Rudisha could have won that race anyway, he didn't need to go for the record and it takes a special athlete to upstage the Usain Bolt show.

But for track and field purists, that was the classiest act of all on another incredible night.


SAY CHEESE Winner Bolt is mobbed
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 10, 2012
Next Article:BOLT WON IN A FLASH; Usain clicks and it's THE image of 2012.

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