Added on May 20, 2009
Length: 06:06 | Comments: 0
Put him in an Olympic stadium or a shopping street in the centre of Manchester and the result is the same: total annihilation.
The frightening thing is that the big Jamaican, who pushed back the boundaries of possibility last summer when he won three gold medals in world record time in Beijing, insists he is still only 70 per cent fit following an interrupted winter and the loss of nine days' training after his car crash last month.
His winning time in Sunday's rarely run 150 metres was an eye-popping 14.36sec, smashing the previous best-known time for the distance of Canada's Donovan Bailey - 14.99sec run on bend against Michael Johnson in 1997.
Britain's Marlon Devonish was a distant second in 15.07sec. He admitted Bolt was in "a league of his own".
Bolt's time will now be ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations as an official 'world best', though it is his 100m split-time that will send shockwaves across the world - 9.90sec on a rain-soaked track in temperatures more common to February than mid-May.
To put that into perspective, Dwain Chambers managed 10.21sec in his first 100m of the season on Saturday in the tropical heat of Puerto Rico. The Briton's talk of 'Project Bolt' looks precisely that: just talk.
Bolt must now be taken at his word when he says he is capable of improving on his 100m world record of 9.69sec this summer. "Anything is possible" is his mantra, and on this evidence it is hard to think of a better phrase to describe what lies ahead this summer.
"You can expect great things from me," said Bolt. "I always go out and try to do my best."
His performance, which ended with his trademark 'lighting bolt' celebration, was a reward for the several thousands hardy souls who shivered under umbrellas for most of the afternoon beside the temporary track erected on Manchester's Deansgate.
But by the time Bolt took to the stage for the final the rain clouds had cleared and even the sun was starting to burst through. His Midas touch clearly extends to the elements.
By way of an hors d'oeuvre, Bahamian Debbie McKenzie Ferguson outpaced Britain's Christine Ohuruogu to with the women's 150m in 16.54sec, though this was all about a one-man show.
One woman in the crowd was even under the impression that the Jamaican's dominance extended to the Bupa Great Manchester Run, held earlier in the day. She could be heard asking her neighbours: "Does anyone know how Usain Bolt got on in the 10k this morning?"