Usain Bolt continued his unprecedented dominance over the sprinting world Sunday night, winning a gold medal in the 100-meter dash.
However, his third-straight gold wasn’t without drama, as after cruising in the semifinal, smiling for the cameras before the finish line, he struggled out of the gate in the final.
It was all fine, of course, as he then pulled ahead and won a narrow victory, running in 9.8 seconds. However, after the race, he ripped the Olympic schedule for leaving him fatigued after the semis.
“It was very hard to run fast because the turnaround time was really, really, really short,” Bolt said (via the National Post). “It was ridiculous as far as I am concerned, because I felt so good in the semifinals.”
After the semifinals, there was just over an hour of waiting time before the final began. Bolt continued, saying he didn’t have enough recovery time in between the races.
“It was like, ‘Yo, I probably could run a fast time,’ but by the time you get back to the warm-up area and start warming up again, it’s time to go back out. So for me, it was really stupid. … That is why the race is slow. There is no way you can run and go back around and run fast times again. It was hard for us.”
For Bolt, the brief rest time didn’t have much impact, but others complained about it, too. US sprinter Justin Gatlin, who finished second to Bolt, said, “I was tired going into the final, so I was just focusing on myself. It was such a quick turn around.”
The scheduling choice was a bit puzzling, but in a sport that packs several events into one night, perhaps it’s an inevitable result of a busy timetable. A crammed schedule isn’t among the chief complains we’ve heard about the Rio Olympics, but it’s one to keep an eye on.
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