Jamaica’s Bolt breaks 200 mark, gets sprint double

Published 9:06 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2008

BEIJING – Usain Bolt of Jamaica broke the world record by winning the 200 meters in 19.30 seconds Wednesday night, becoming the first man since Carl Lewis in 1984 to sweep the 100 and 200 gold medals at an Olympics.

Bolt is the first man ever to break the world marks in both sprints at an Olympics. Not even Lewis or Jesse Owens managed that.

Showing what he can do when he runs at full speed all the way through the finish — something he hadn’t done yet in the Beijing Games — Bolt eclipsed the old record of 19.32 seconds set by Michael Johnson in Atlanta in 1996.

Bolt was an astonishing 0.52 seconds ahead of Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles, who was second across the finish line but later was disqualified after a U.S. team protest that he had run out of his lane. The third man across the line, Wallace Spearmon of the United States, also was disqualified for leaving his lane.

Those rulings meant Shawn Crawford of the United States, the defending Olympic champion, wound up with the silver medal, and another American, Walter Dix, ended up with the bronze medal despite being the fifth man across the finish line.

The performance marked Bolt as one of the breakthrough stars of these Summer Games, coming on the heels of his victory in the 100 Saturday night. He bettered his own world record in that race by winning in 9.69 seconds — despite slowing down over the final 20 meters to showboat.