Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Do not mess with Usain Bolt

Leford Green of Jamaica, a J.C. Smith star, goes over a hurdle just ahead of Michael Tinsley of the United States.
LONDON -- Leford Green, the Jamaican hurdler who has turned into a Charlottean, knows Usain Bolt better than most athletes do at these Olympics.

Green, who has lived in Charlotte the past five years and starred at J.C. Smith, has become friends with Bolt over the years since they are about the same age and used to compete with each other before Green became a hurdler and Bolt a short-distance sprinter. The two have been playing video games and hanging out every day in the Olympic Village, Green said.

So Green considers Bolt a friend. But he remains in awe of Bolt’s performance in the 100 meters Sunday night. “Usain Bolt is a different class of human being,” Green said.

Bolt runs again Thursday in the 200 final. Green said the best way to try and beat Bolt if you are in the next lane is to kill him with pre-race kindness.

“If you talk bad about him, he just goes faster,” Green said. “He’s not a person you want to trash talk. I think the best thing you do is say, ‘You’re really fast.’ Compliment him. That’s not going to slow him down, but if you talk bad about him and doubt his ability, he’s just going to try and prove you wrong.”

Bolt said as much after the 100, when he said that "doubters" had made him want to prove himself again. He lost in both the 100 and the 200 in Jamaica's Olympic Trials to training partner Yohan Blake.

A couple of other Olympic notes from Wednesday's competition:

-- Former South Carolina stars Lashinda Demus (400 hurdles) and Jason Richardson (110 hurdles) both won silver medals.

-- The U.S. won both gold and silver in women's beach volleyball (with Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor winning their third straight title). China looked like it was going to win bronze, but lost a lead and ended up fourth in the third-place match. That one event could be important if you keep up with total medal counts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Scott, I hope you read these comments. I'd like to see the medals counted two ways; the way they're counted now, with the second way being how many individuals stand on the podium. For instance, basketball would count 12 (or whatever number is on the roster) and soccer 18. Seems the Chinese are great at individual and 2-man sports, but not quite as competitive in multi-player team sports.