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  • What must Usain do?

    The complete title of this thread is "What has Usain got to do if he wants to be regarded as the greatest runner of all time?". I feel continuing to set records at 100 and 200m and win global titles at those distances might not achieve that goal, but ...and I hate to be boring ... but, if he were to break the 400m record, he would certainly get my vote.

  • #2
    Re: What must Usain do?

    Originally posted by FrankS
    The complete title of this thread is "What has Usain got to do if he wants to be regarded as the greatest runner of all time?". I feel continuing to set records at 100 and 200m and win global titles at those distances might not achieve that goal, but ...and I hate to be boring ... but, if he were to break the 400m record, he would certainly get my vote.
    Already the greatest sprinter of all time in my opinion. Distance running and sprinting are too different (not to mention the differences within those groups as well- 800 v. 10K runners?) to ever say one person is the greatest "runner" of all time.
    "Long may you run"- Neil Young

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    • #3
      Among the possibilities, any of the following:

      1. WR or global gold in the 400.

      2. Another Olympic gold in 100/200.

      3. Two individual WC golds in 100/200.

      4. Increase time advantage to the number-two guy to > 0.1s in the 100 and 200.

      Note: These are from my POV _sufficient_ conditions, not _necessary_
      conditions.

      Mellow Johnny is right about the ``runner'' vs. ``sprinter'' distinction.

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      • #4
        I think he would have to do something really different to jump over all the other contenders, and to hold the 100/200/400m records would be truly unprecedented. I think a lot of fans of longer distance running think that 100/200m are a bit soft, and like clinging to their comfort zones too much. For Usain to try for the 400m world record would show a real desire to "boldly go where no man [ or at least no 100m world record holder/Olympic Champ ] has gone before". I don't think that anyone would disagree that the 400m offers a greater challenge - both physically and mentally - for Usain than "merely" repeating his successes in the 100/200m.

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        • #5
          for starters he will have to navigate the pot holes that two previous 100m wr holders ran into.
          ... nothing really ever changes my friend, new lines for old, new lines for old.

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          • #6
            19.32 is not as was not soft!

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            • #7
              Bolt will first need to set personal records again in the 100m and 200m.

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              • #8
                1)He must show dominance over a much longer period of time. The reason I consider Carl Lewis the greatest is because he maintained his peak for 15 years.

                2)It would help if he had great success in the 400. Part of Lewis' and Owens' mystique comes from their LJ performances.

                3)This may be unfair and irrelevant, but it would certainly help if he were more humble.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by noone
                  1)He must show dominance over a much longer period of time. The reason I consider Carl Lewis the greatest is because he maintained his peak for 15 years.

                  2)It would help if he had great success in the 400. Part of Lewis' and Owens' mystique comes from their LJ performances.

                  3)This may be unfair and irrelevant, but it would certainly help if he were more humble.
                  1. Even stretching it, it is hard to make his sprint reign last for more
                  than 10 years (1981-1991). Further, many would argue that his actual peak was
                  not maintained longer than the 1984 resp. 1988 Olympics. (Not to deny that
                  he had incredible longevity for a sprinter.)

                  2. Very true.

                  3. Lewis, Greene, and a few others were not exactly modest and down-to-earth
                  either.

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                  • #10
                    He needs to stay healthy and maintain his level of fitness. He just needs to keep doing what he has been doing. Three gold medals and three world records is an amazing start to his case of being the greatest of all time.

                    A 44ish 400 wouldn't hurt either.

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                    • #11
                      I would say a sub-44s 400m would help his cause considerably. Another season like this would boost his stocks :

                      1 sub-9.7
                      3 sub-9.8
                      6 sub-9.9
                      8 sub-10
                      1 sub-19.4
                      4 sub-19.9
                      (with a bit of racing to come)

                      If he doubled again in London in 2012 then he's home in my books... not getting that far (i.e. only doing the double in 2009 and 2011) might leave him only on par with Lewis and M.Johnson...

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                      • #12
                        As I've said previously, simply(!) winning more medals and setting fastest times at 100 and 200m won't do the trick; he's got to go for the 400m. Of course, going for the 400m is a gamble and it also means a lot of hard work. Lasse Viren did the "double double" in the 5k/10k but that didn't elevate him to the top of the greatest runner of all-time table BUT, had he won the marathon in 1976, then his claim for the greatest of all-time would have been greatly enhanced. To jump over all the other contenders Usain must do something unique, and 400m offers him that.

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                        • #13
                          bolt's performances show that longevity is over-rated as criteria for goat ( longeviy good for a gold watch at the end )

                          he can retire today & who's going to argue he's not the goat ( albeit i wished he'd got a good RT in 100 & run thru the line for a 9.60 & also good RT & no -ve wind in 200 for a 19.20 - double golds in 9.60/19.20 - pretty much end of story as far as i'm concerned )

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                          • #14
                            First thing would be to cement the WR in the 100m for a considerable amount of time by running some truly ridiculous number. 9.69 as it stands now could be broken by somebody else sooner than we may think, Powell is already fairly close.

                            I don't think just breaking 44 sec in the 400m will have a major impact on his status. He would have to be number 1 in this event like Owens and Lewis were in the long jump.

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                            • #15
                              yes, that's why i'd suggested he'd run it hard to the line with good RT - that buries it at ~ 9.60

                              9.69 is doable by safa - his anchor was ~ 9.73 ability with likely little wind ( his 9.74 had big wind & he was slowing down - worth ~ 9.78 basic if he'd run it flat-out - i think safa's ~ 0.05s better from last year, so still improving )

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