MIAMI — Former Olympic champion Shawn Crawford, like many others believes Jamaican sprint marvel Usain Bolt has evaluated the sprinting department with his remarkable performances last year.
No match for the Jamaican
At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games Crawford dominated a strong field to lead an American sweep in the 200m, this after finishing fourth behind countryman Justin Gatlin in the 100m.
His times were 19.79 seconds for the 200m and 9.89sec for the 100m — achievements he thinks are only modest next to Bolt’s.
"He woke up all sprinters," said Crawford, who returned last year to win a silver medallist behind Bolt in a world record race in Beijing, was quoted as telling Reuters.
"It is no longer good (enough) to run 9.9s or 9.8s (in the 100 metres) or 19.7s or 19.8s (in the 200).
Bolt was superb in Beijing – dismissing two outstanding fields to win the sprint double with world record times.
He first cruised to 9.69sec to eclipse his own record in the 100m and then improved Michael Johnson’s 19.32sec to 19.30 in the 200m.
"When Usain dropped both of those records (in Beijing), he raised the bar," the former world indoor 60m silver medalist said.
Bolt inspiring the youths
Crawford, who initially finished fourth in the half-lap, before being awarded the silver when Dutch Antilles’ Churandy Martina and American Wallace Spearmon were both disqualified for lane violations, also believes that Bolt has inspired the youths.
"He woke up not only those of us running now, but the youth too," said the American, whose next race will be against the Jamaican in Toronto. "They are saying ‘Usain Bolt did it, I can do it.’
"That is the whole idea of life, to wake up the future so we can be better in the future.
"Tyson (Gay) has already displayed that we are going to see times like Bolt’s this year," added the 31-year-old who last year returned his silver medal to Martina.