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Usain Bolt ran 200 meters in 19.19 seconds today, breaking his own world record set last year in the Olympics. Earlier this week he broke his own world record in the 100 meters. But I would venture to say that the sprinter is also holding his own in another arena — YouTube — where people from around the world can witness Bolt’s dominance as soon as they get wind of it.
Within a couple hours of Bolt crossing the finish line, more than 100 new uploads showed up in YouTube search. Generally taped off TV sets, the screen captures vary drastically in picture quality and commentator language. But by following a Twitter, Facebook, watercooler or TV mention, millions of us will know today to jump over to our video sites of choice and watch Bolt crush. For an under-appreciated sport like track and field, that’s pretty cool.
Unfortunately the official Berlin World Championships site has only a side-show video section, with daily highlight reels and interviews with the athletes. But thankfully, the International Association of Athletics Federations — or whoever they’ve sold the international TV rights to — don’t seem to be too interested in rapid-fire copyright takedown notices. So the videos on YouTube may just stay up.
As of now, YouTube doesn’t have any HD videos of the 200 meters, but perhaps they just haven’t had time to process them. Here’s an excellent (and also unofficial) version of Bolt’s 100-meter win: