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Turns Out Usain Bolt Is Beatable After All

04/08/2014 14:08 BST | Updated 04/10/2014 10:59 BST
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For one and a half seconds, two at most, on Saturday evening, in front of thousands, Englishman Danny Talbot felt a rare sensation, experienced by very few men - that of being level, shoulder to shoulder, on the running track, with Usain Bolt.

Like Bolt, Talbot was the fourth man in the 4x100m relay team. Thanks to a storming bend by England's third leg Richard Kilty, Talbot was actually a teeny bit ahead of Bolt when the batons were handed over and, for one brief, shining, sweet moment, hopefully, had the hope of victory.

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Danny Talbot had a taste - brief - of sharing the track with Usain Bolt

It didn't last long. Despite his week of controversy, his half-hour of clowning to the crowd, of making the adopted Games anthem 500 Miles his own in the minutes before the gun, Bolt delivered what he had promised - the sight of his 6'5" frame reaching for its power and surging to another jaw-dropping victory. At least Danny Talbot will have something to tell his grandchildren around the fireside.

A few miles away from the track in the centre of Glasgow, loads of other people got to have a go at racing the great man, courtesy of Virgin Media's 'Race Bolt' - a 30-metre challenge to test the best, and most average, of them. The lineup included fellow competitors, Paralympians, members of the emergency services and children. A few keen ones turned up in spikes, and Usain's own mother even turned up for a pop.

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games have been rightly heralded as an enormous, inclusive success, and Race Bolt was another winner. By the end of the week, more than 3,000 had lined up on the track beside him, and one bloke even conquered him. Who is this second coming, you ask? It was a member of Team Barbados' Rugby Sevens, Jae Bowen, who actually beat Bolt's time by an almighty 0.11 seconds.

Running the 30m challenge in front of a crowd of cheering fans at Glasgow Green, Jae took the highly sought after top place on the leaderboard with a time of 3.66 seconds, and gently lay down the gauntlet, inviting the man for whom the race was named to defend his title.

Commenting on his win, Jae said:

"A few of us guys came down to Glasgow Green to race against the big man Usain on the Race Bolt screen as it's a lot of fun, but I never expected to beat him. It's a highlight of a really great trip to the Commonwealth Games. "

See, there's hope, people. The man can be beaten - and no, Prince Harry, we're not counting you.

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Jae Bowen showed who was Boss at Race Bolt - shame it wasn't an actual race, in an actual stadium, with medals to play for

Back on Wednesday evening, I was in the athletics stadium, where the atmosphere was fantastic. From men's high jump to women's javelin finals, and Kenyan David Rudisha showing how it's possible to run AND smile, there was lots to enjoy, even before Greg Rutherford did the decent thing in the long jump sandpit and proved his Olympic gold was no fluke.

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Mrs Bolt revealed it's all in the genes

However, I'm no hardy field or track warrior and, even without the rain that tried the athletes this weekend, an evening in the stands was a tad chilly, so I made my own athletic effort and ran to ask for a blanket. "I'm sorry," was the polite answer from the nice lady in the Virgin lounge. "I've just given the last one to Mrs Bolt." My own fleeting connection with greatness that, like Danny Talbot, I'll be saving for the fireside.

Usain Bolt at the Commonwealth Games