It will be the first Olympics without Usain Bolt since the Athens Games in 2004, with the Jamaican great having won the last three Olympic gold medals in the sprint. Seeing the speed of this track and these shoes, Bolt will be disappointed that he didn’t do the Tokyo lap again.
American Trayvon Bromell is the fastest man in the world this year and will be the favorite going into the races.
Rohan Browning is the first Australian to run the 100m at the Olympics in 13 years since Josh Ross in 2004. He is hoping to get out of the heats.
But the speed of the track and the spring of the shoes were not enough for the Australian sprinter Hana Basic who was exhausted in the heats.
Basic quickly realized that nothing prepares you for the Olympics.
“I felt amazing before the race, one of the best warm-ups I’ve ever done, I was so ready and then, ‘Oh fuck, it’s just a whole different ballpark’, it was so crushing.
“Honestly, I’ve been fine, but I just feel like nothing can compare to you walking in there and saying, ‘Holy shit, I’m about to run in the Olympics.'” Hey , I ran an 11.3, last year I ran 12.1s.
Basic was drawn in the last heat of the morning. The semi-finals are drawn among the first three of each heat and then the three best times.
By the time she was in the blocks, Basic knew two things. First, she was in a heat with three women who had all run under-11s, so her chances of making the top three were slim. So to pass she had to run 11.20 or better.
Her personal best is 11.18, the national record is 11.11 and no woman has run 11.20 or better since Raelene Boyle in 1968 when she ran exactly 11.20.
“These girls are very likely to be in the final and I knew that. When I got the draw I was like, ‘Okay, time to go,'” Basic said.
Even without a crowd, it’s hard to express the difference in experience between attending an Olympics and watching the best in the world.
“I could feel myself shaking and I was like, don’t get overwhelmed now, but hey, it’s okay, good training, I’ll get through it. I felt really good until the 40m and I guess I didn’t used to having people pushing me.
“During the domestic season I took the lead and was able to run my own race. That’s why we came to Europe earlier because I needed that experience against that depth of competitors and the these girls. I started to blossom, I ran two PBs but the Olympics is like shit.
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