Chasing Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt celebrating 100m world record in Berlin Aug 16 2009

From early 2008 when he set his first world record until the end of 2012, my summers largely consisted of chasing Usain Bolt, still the world’s fastest man. A couple times I actually caught him.

Like here.

This was taken six years ago today from my press seat at the 2009 World Track and Field Championships in Berlin when Bolt returned to the track a few hours after he clocked an otherwordly 9.58 seconds world record in the 100 meters. My habit of usually being among the last to leave the media tribune paid off here.

That record still stands; here’s a quick breakdown of what that performance meant more precisely:

Bolt covered the distance in 41 total strides at 4.28 strides per second, his average speed was 37.6 kilometers per hour, and he reached a peak speed of just under 46 Km/H.

Here’s my report of his Berlin 100m race for track and field’s international governing body on Four days later he’d break the record in the 200m, clocking 19.19. That record also still stands.

If you’re a fan, here’s another pic I posted of Bolt taken after a race in Ostrava, Czech Republic in 2011. All things considered, it’s my favorite shot of Bolt.


And for the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 590th straight, was snapped on 16 August 2009 at Berlin’s 1936 Olympic stadium.



  1. Not a huge track and field fan, but sometimes the feats of these athletes are breathtaking (and don’t get going on the courage of the pole vaulters). Awesome picture, not just an awesome sports photo (a kind of photography it seems to me that doesn’t get it just rewards). There is such expression in his face and the backdrop of blue with the lines so nicely focus on the movement even though it just a moment of that motion you captured.

    1. It’s funny – I remember that moment, him coming back to the track several hours after his race, more than I remember the actual race.

      As a reporter I focused primarily on elite level track & field for about a decade before scaling back after the 2012 season. I still follow the sport, the only one I really pay any attention to.

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