Usain Bolt appeared to be on his way back to the summit of the sprinting world at the 2011 World Championships in Korea: a breezy 10.05-second victory in a 100 meters semifinal heat on Saturday served notice that Bolt was nearing his blazing top form. Then a single false start in the 100 meters final on Sunday knocked Bolt out of contention for that gold medal.
Fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake — actually the fastest qualifier for the 100 meters final — won the gold with a 9.92-second run despite a significant headwind.
Bolt was upset but not distraught in the aftermath, telling the Associated Press, "Looking for tears? Not going to happen." And Bolt still has two more chances to medal at these World Championships, with the 200 meters and 4 x 100 meters relay yet to be run. Both events will take place next weekend, with the 200 meters spread over Friday and Saturday and the relay run on Sunday.
Bolt's fans and the track and field community may be less sanguine about Bolt's loss. Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden sounded off on the false start rule on Twitter, calling it "insane" and pronouncing that "No rule should make an entire sport irrelevant."