- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2012

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — When the Olympics start, it will be Usain Bolt doing the chasing.

The World’s Fastest Man wasn’t even the fastest man in Jamaica on Friday night.

Instead, that honor was snatched away by Yohan Blake, the man they call “The Beast,” who blew away Boltout of the starting blocks and finished the 100-meter final in 9.75 seconds to upset the world-record holder by 0.11 seconds in the Jamaican Olympic trials.

How big a shocker? Time will tell. One thing for sure, however, is that the math for the London Olympics has changed dramatically.

“Nine-point-seven-five, it’s awesome,” Blake said. “I won the world championship, so I’ve got that. Now, I’m the national champion for Jamaica, so I’ve got that. And now, I go into the Olympics like this.”

Blake is, indeed, the reigning world champion, but that victory came with an asterisk because Bolt, the reigning Olympic champion, didn’t run that night in South Korea after being disqualified for a false start.

This was their first rematch, the first real race between the training partners since then. Bolt was considered the favorite, not only because of his world record — 9.58 seconds — but because Blake had never run faster than 9.82 in his life.

Well, now, he has.

The 9.75 seconds on a calm night in Kingston goes down as the best time in the world this year and also breaks the four-year-old National Stadium record; both previous marks were 9.76 — both held by Bolt. OnlyBolt, Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay have ever run faster.

As much as the numbers, though, it was all that daylight between Blake and Bolt at the finish line that told this story. Blake got ahead early and, for a while, looked to have more of a tussle on his hands with Powell, who finished third, than with Bolt. As he always does, Bolt rallied at the end, leaning at the line — to make sure he held onto second.

Ahead of him, it was Blake spreading his hands out to his sides and letting out a primal scream. Bolt just pulled up. No pretending to shoot a bolt of lightning into the sky — the now-famous “To the World” pose — or anything else to celebrate on this night. Later, Bolt offered Blake congratulations, shaking his hand and using the other to amiably palm the head of an opponent eight inches shorter than him.

While all that — the daylight at the finish, congratulating someone else when it was over, his first loss since the DQ at worlds — was a downer for Bolt, the scene at the start was even worse.

Always the toughest part of the race for the 6-foot-5 defending Olympic champion, Bolt lumbered out of the blocks this time and had to churn those long legs to make up big ground simply to get in the mix.

Afterward, he said something near the start line was bothering him, beginning with the semifinals, where he also got off to a bad start.

“I had to ignore it,” Bolt said. “I had trouble getting out, but I kept feeling like I could not give up.”

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