In one of the most memorable Olympic races ever, Jamaica's Usain Bolt set a world record in the 200 meters Wednesday and local sprinter Shawn Crawford won a strange silver medal.
Bolt blazed through the race in a time of 19.30 seconds, breaking the 12-year-old record of American Michael Johnson. Bolt, who turns 22 Thursday, had already set the world record in the 100 in these Olympics and now is a double gold medalist. He beat the entire field by at least half a second.
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“I blew my mind and I blew the world's mind,” Bolt said.
Crawford finished the race in fourth place, an eyelash off the podium. But the sprinters who finished second and third were both eventually disqualified for stepping out of their lanes, leaving Crawford with the silver medal.
Crawford, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the event, said he was also left with a “hollow feeling.”
“That's just not what you dream of,” Crawford said. “No one dreams of winning a medal like that.”
Crawford -- of Van Wyck, S.C., Indian Land High and Clemson – ran a time of 19.96 seconds, far behind Bolt just like everyone else in the race. He crossed the line behind Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles and teammate Wallace Spearmon, too.
Spearmon took a victory lap with the American flag, thinking he had edged Crawford at the line for the bronze medal.
But by the time the lap was over, Spearmon had been disqualified for a lane violation. He handed the flag to Crawford in frustration as he left the track, but Crawford didn't take a victory lap.
“It wouldn't have felt right,” Crawford said.
The U.S. delegation watched videotape of the race and decided not to protest Spearmon's disqualification. However, they did protest Martina's second-place finish, saying he also stepped out of his lane.
After a delay of more than an hour, that U.S. protest was upheld.
Crawford thus went from fourth to second place after the race concluded. U.S. teammate Walter Dix went from fifth place to third, and the U.S. ended up winning two medals in the event instead of one.
The medal ceremony was postponed because of all that hubbub and will instead be held Thursday night in Beijing.