Is Usain Bolt doping
The eternal question: was Bolt doped?
The times he ran in his best phase are still a mystery to many today. Or to put it another way: There are doubts whether they were even possible without doping, if only for reasons of sprint history. Ben Johnson, Linford Christie, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay or Bolt's compatriots Asafa Powell and Nesta Carter, to name just a few - they all sprinted with substances in their blood that they weren't allowed to have in their blood. So why should the very fastest be clean? Especially since there were a number of reports about the lax doping controls in Jamaica. Were Bolt and his team smarter than the others, just didn't get caught?
Of course, Ralph Beneke doesn't know either. The man is the head of the Institute for Sports Science and Motology at the University of Marburg and has a different, scientific perspective on Usain Bolt. Beneke analyzed Bolt's sprints, especially his world record runs in Berlin, and dissected them down to the smallest detail.
On the basis of selected physiological and biomechanical models, the scientist calculated, among other things, ground contact times, forces and performance and thus found explanations for Bolts' fabulous times, some of which were controversial at the beginning, but are now widely recognized. “The main advantage of Bolt,” he says, “lies in its height of 1.96 meters.” In his 100-meter world record, he took 41 steps, the winners in front of him usually took 45 steps. “On the one hand, this saves Bolt energy, and on the other hand, with his few steps he has more powerful and slightly longer contact with the ground than the others. This gives him greater impetus. "
But the sprints that Beneke analyzed have not brought Usain Bolt onto the track for a long time. After 2009, his performance curve went down a bit more and more. The drag increased, also as a result of many injuries. But above all because of the fact that his body has this one flaw: Bolt suffers from scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. Since 2004 he has been trying to fight it with the Munich sports medicine luminary Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt. But Bolt notices the consequences of scoliosis right down to his painful hamstrings. For Bolt, the fight against his physical flaws and his increasing age means: even more rehab, waking up early more often, eating even healthier food and having fewer parties.
Bolt has a lot of competition in London
The first image that comes to mind of Bolt is his beaming after the finish line, his pose afterwards, when he extends his left arm, bends his right arm backwards and points forward with both index fingers. But there is a lot of suffering behind the beam and the show. In the documentary "I am Bolt" you can see him driving a mini scooter through his sterile hotel room early in the morning. He sings, then he is embarrassed. "I just wanted to show you how I feel when I'm bored." Not so good, it seems. But who's doing well when they're bored? Bolt says in the documentary that he doesn't like doing things that he doesn't enjoy. “I want to chill, just be human.” And he also says in it that it is difficult for him to be as keen on winning now as someone who has not yet won anything.
That’s why it’s going to be difficult for him next Saturday, when his last individual race is due at a quarter to eleven at night. Next to him will be runners like the Canadian Andre de Grasse, the American Christian Coleman or Akani Simbine from South Africa. Everyone is in their early twenties, everyone has run faster than Bolt this year, and everyone is keen to win. But when the time comes, when the legend stands next to you at 1.96 meters, many favorites have already got heavy legs.
Usain Bolt is now struggling with motivation. But he also knows that he only has to hunt down the hundred meters twice in London.
After that, real life awaits.
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