Wed | Oct 28, 2020

Berlin: An out-of-body experience – Wilson

Published:Friday | August 16, 2019 | 12:09 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Technical leader of Jamaica’s track and field team, Maurice Wilson (left), shakes hands with Usain Bolt at the Kuntai Hotel in  Beijing, China, ahead of the World Championships in Athletics in 2015.
Technical leader of Jamaica’s track and field team, Maurice Wilson (left), shakes hands with Usain Bolt at the Kuntai Hotel in  Beijing, China, ahead of the World Championships in Athletics in 2015.

Renowned Jamaican track and field coach and administrator Maurice Wilson say he has witnessed almost all there is to see in the sport of track and field, but very little compares to the astounding performance from Usain Bolt at the 2009 World Athletics Championship in Berlin, Germany.

Wilson, who was part of the coaching staff at the championships, relived the memories that the legendary Bolt left the world.

“I remember it like it was yesterday, from the time we were at the athletics village to when we got to the stadium, the mood was just so calm and the level of confidence was just unbelievable. Having done so well a year before in Beijing, Usain was very confident; however, he was not arrogant and when I saw that look in his eyes, I knew something big was about to happen,” said Wilson.

The former Holmwood Technical high school and current G.C. Foster College coach said the writing was on the wall for an incredible performance even before the world-record run, as Bolt was doing some incredible times in training.

“Coach Glen Mills called me over during one of the training sessions and said, ‘Willo’ look here, and he showed me the stopwatch, it was like 9.63 or 9.64, something like that, and my jaw just dropped, I could not believe it.”

Wilson, who coached Bolt at the World Youth Championship back in 2001, recounted how Bolt looked much easier in the preliminaries at the World Championships than he did at the Olympics a year earlier.

Fast-forward to the moment when Bolt clocked 9.58 seconds to win the gold medal and shatter his record of 9.69 set in Beijing, Wilson had this to say.

“When everyone was jumping around and cheering, I just stood there for about three minutes, it was like I went to space and came back. I had to look at the clock a couple of times to confirm that the time was right; it was an out-of-body experience.”

Wilson, who was in the presence of another coach, Michael Clarke, recounted what was said.

“Clarkie turned to me and said, ‘This man is from Mars’. He had never seen anything like it, it was like he had a ­second engine.”

Bolt would go on to smash the 200-metre record at the same championships with a scintillating time of 19.19 seconds, erasing his previous mark of 19.30 and, according to Wilson, that cemented the legendary status for the man from Sherwood Content in Trelawny.

“I want to leave this Earth with those memories and that feeling. Bolt is the greatest ever and there will never be another athlete like him. The greatness, the humility of the man is beyond ­anything that we will ever see again,” Wilson added.