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Sprinter Bolt to Compete in Daegu May 19

Posted April. 20, 2010 06:25,   


The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, will compete in a tournament in Korea next month.

The Organizing Committee for the IAAF World Championships in Athletics-Daegu 2011 said yesterday, “Usain Bolt will participate in the men’s 100-meter race at the sixth Colorful Daegu Pre-Championships Meeting May 19.” This will be the 24-year-old runner’s first visit to Korea.

Bolt was previously scheduled to run his first race of this season May 13 at a competition in Doha, Qatar and the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai, China, 10 days later.

He reportedly changed his plan and decided to come Korea, however, due to his sense of indebtedness to Korea and to check next year’s main event in Daegu, according to committee members who repeatedly urged Bolt to come.

Bolt set world records of 9.58 seconds in the men’s 100 meters and 19.19 seconds in the 200 meters at the world championships in Berlin last year. Afterwards, he was scheduled to participate at the Colorful Daegu Pre-Championships Meeting in September last year.

He ended his season early, however, and took a direct flight to Jamaica instead, saying “I feel tired and I want go home right away” in a huge disappointment for Korean fans.

Because of this indebtedness, he chose to attend the Korean event this time.

His participation alone will help attract a massive number of fans at next month’s event. Moon Dong-hoo, co-chairman of the organizing committee, said, “We are very privileged to have the world’s fastest athlete come and run in the 100 meters in Daegu. We expect many fans will come to watch Bolt’s race.”

Bolt emerged as a dark horse by setting a then world record of 9.72 seconds in the 100 meters in June 2008. Two months later, he set world records in the 100 meters (9.69 seconds), 200 meters (19.30 seconds), and 400-meter relay (37.10 seconds) at the Beijing Summer Olympics.

Since then, the Jamaican runner has dominated short-distance races.

Bolt’s participation in Daegu will allow Korean fans to again watch a competition of runners who can complete the 100 meters at the nine-second level. It will be difficult for Bolt to break his world record since it will be his first race of the season, but he will likely have little problem running the race in under 10 seconds.

The record for the Daegu competition is 9.94 seconds set last year by Tyson Gay, 28, of the U.S. The record for Korea is 9.92 seconds set by American sprinter Carl Lewis at the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.