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Aug 2, 2016
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In the world of speed freaks, Usain Bolt is king.

The 29-year-old Jamaican has proven himself to be the fastest human being alive, a title further exemplified by the six Olympic gold medals (100-meter and 200-meter dashes and the 4x100m team race) and world records in his belt.

Countless videos trying to break down Bolt's lightning sprint have been made, only to be reduced to awe at the sight of him dashing to the finish line.

Although as blinding fast as he goes, it appears that there is a chink in the legend's armor.

Over email, Bolt's agent Ricky Sims has confirmed to The New Yorker, that his client "has never run a mile." This was in response to an article written by Charles Bethea titled, "How Fast Would Usain Bolt Run The Mile?" The article highlighted how running geeks have been throwing the same hypothetical question around for years.

Bethea attempted to answer it himself, talking to experts like LetsRun.com founders Robert and Weldon Johnson and asking them if Bolt could break the five-minute mark; the twin brothers had contrasting takes. Robert was willing to "mortgage my nonexistent house to try to bet up to six figures" that the Jamaican will not be able to do it, while Weldon believed that going under five minutes is possible "with training."

Going back to Bolt's agent's answer, is it just us or did the representative of the world's greatest sprinter just had a PR snafu?

Suddenly, Bolt, who is thought to possess the ability to cover all possible distances quicker than any other person, appears not superhuman after all—at least when it comes to running 1,600 meters.

"Speed over short distances does not automatically guarantee relative speed over long distances," Ross Tucker, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of the Free State, explained to Bethea.

There you have it, the Lightning Bolt won't be as superhero-like as a distance runner. Which also explains why he's sticking to the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m races at Rio—the same three events he's dominated for the past two Games. Nine gold medals, here he comes!

 

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