Gulf news Phelps and Bolt: The twin titans of the Rio Olympics

Phelps and Bolt: The twin titans of the Rio Olympics
 

This content was originally posted in 7DAYS UAE website at: Phelps and Bolt: The twin titans of the Rio Olympics


Usain Bolt

Rio Olympics


Heading into the Rio Olympics there was a worry that the scandal and suspicions surrounding the Games would overshadow the performances of the world’s greatest athletes.


How could fans put their faith in a multitude of sports that have been tainted by athletes failing drugs tests.


But thankfully the performances of two men in particular have stolen the headlines in Brazil. And for the most positive of reasons.


Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps both compete in disciplines that have been shrouded in their fair share of controversy.


In the pool, Russia and China became the villains with a number of their athletes able to compete despite having previously served suspensions for doping violations.


While in track and field, the fact that Justin Gatlin (pictured) – who has twice tested positive for performance-enhacing drugs – was able to race is seen by many as a failure in the system.


Thankfully, Phelps and Bolt showed that clean athletes can come out on top.


The duo were already assured of their legacies before arriving in Brazil. But their performances in Rio have further enhanced their reputations as two of the greatest Olympians to have ever competed in the historic Games.


Phelps has added six more medals to his already momentus haul. Five golds and a silver has seen his tally rise to a remarkable 23 golds, three silvers and two bronze medals.


“The sheer enormity of his medal haul, not to mention his non-Olympic record, makes him the greatest Olympian of all time,” argued British sports historian Tony Collins.


It is hard to disagree with his assessment. For 12 years Phelps has been virtually unstoppable on the biggest stage of all.


He has now hinted at retirement and he will be

a huge miss at the Tokyo Games in 2020.


After Phelps’ heroics in the pool, the stage was set for Bolt. And there is nothing the Jamaican enjoys more

than competing on the big stage.


Before the 100m final he sauntered onto the track, a beaming smile on his face, as if he knew exactly how the race would pan out.

Once the gun went, it took Bolt 9.81 seconds to make history and maintain his unbeaten record at Olympic Games.


He thumped his chest as he ran over the line, already celebrating his remarkable achievement.


Once again he had claimed gold and once again he had finished ahead of Gatlin in a major championship final.


Now he has the chance to complete the triple-triple when he competes in the 200m and the 4x100m.


You cannot see anyone denying Bolt two more golds to complete a remarkable set. If it is the last time we see both Bolt and Phelps, then our lasting memory of both will be of enduring excellence.


adrian@7days.ae


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