Usain Bolt's forgotten 100m world record that first secured him GOAT status in 2008

  • Kobe Tong
Bolt clocks 9.72 seconds.

Usain Bolt holds the men’s 100-metre world record with a time of 9.58 seconds.

It’s been over 10 years now since the Jamaican icon blew everyone’s minds at the 2009 World Athletics Championships in Berlin and nobody has even come close to threatening his feat of human excellence since.

In fact, the closest that anyone else has come to breaking Bolt‘s timeless figure are the 9.69-second runs posted by Yohan Blake and Tyson Gay, which are still miles off the pace in sprinting terms.

Bolt’s 100m world records

So, as us sports fans strap ourselves in for what could well be decades upon decades of waiting for anyone to even so much as threaten Bolt’s world record, let’s take a peek at the history-making performances that came beforehand.

Besides, there are a lot of people who forget that Bolt has actually broken humanity’s greatest 100m time on no less than three occasions throughout his career.

Almost everyone is aware of the third and final time in which he posted that clocking of 9.58 seconds and a good chunk of people recall the second instance where he slowed down celebrating at the Beijing Olympics to the tune of 9.69 seconds.

But go on, be honest, how many of you actually remember the first time that Bolt broke the record? The only time, in fact, that he broke the record when it didn’t belong to him…

Bolt sprinting in 2008.
NEW YORK – MAY 31: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt crosses on his way to finishing first in the Men’s 100m at the Reebok Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium at Randalls Island Park on May 31, 2008 in New York City. Bolt set a new world record, covering the distance in 9.72 seconds. (Photo by : Lisa Coniglio/Getty Images)

When Bolt first broke the record

Well, we suspect a lot of folks will answer ‘no’ to that question because we seldom ever see said race replayed despite the fact it announced Bolt’s arrival on the world stage as a true force of nature.

Though, we’ll let them off because it didn’t actually take place at either a World Championships or Olympics, but rather at a rain-sodden New York track for a June 2008 leg of the IAAF World Athletics Tour.

Seems inconspicuous, right? Well, perhaps ordinarily, but not when it plays host to the moment that Bolt first surpassed the 100m world record of his compatriot Asafa Powell in scintillating style.

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Dipping below the 9.74-second clocking that hit the news just one year previously, Bolt instantly became a household name when he delivered what remains the seventh-fastest 100m time in human history.

It’s forgotten by many, but soon to be remembered by people like you because for what Bolt’s first world record lacks in time compared to the second an third, it sure makes up for with the emotion of an icon arriving on the scene.

So be sure to check out the moment that Bolt secured his GOAT status for the very first time, never to let it go, by watching him tear up the New York track across 9.72 epic seconds down below:

Little did he know, little did he know.

The moment that the GOAT arrived

Somethings feel so familiar: Bolt bursting away from the field, seeing the words ‘world record’ flash up on the screen and the master entertainer himself turning on the style when he crosses the line.

However, there’s also a lot that feels different: the glitz and glamour of a major championship isn’t present, Bolt looks almost baby-faced and perhaps even seems a little more surprised than usual at the result.

It really does feel like a watershed moment in sporting history and one that has sadly been forgotten in the wake of two subsequent feats that arguably don’t have so much of an emotional punch despite their swifter figures.

Bolt celebrates his 100m world record.
NEW YORK – MAY 31: Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the Men’s 100m at the Reebok Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium at Randalls Island Park on May 31, 2008 in New York City. Bolt set a new world record, covering the distance in 9.72 seconds. (Photo by: Victah Sailer/Getty Images)

And yet, despite that footage simply feeling like an introduction to an Olympic god, Bolt would only actually go onto run quicker than on that damp and dark night in New York just three more times.

It’s his forgotten 100m world record, but arguably the most raw and precious of them all.

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