Commonwealth Games

'Batman' steals Bolt's thunder

2010-10-06 20:32
Ramone 'Batman' McKenzie (File)
New Delhi - Usain Bolt finally has some competition, and it's in the entertaining form of fellow Jamaican Ramone McKenzie - aka Batman.

Although Bolt pulled out of the Commonwealth Games with a back injury, sprinting fans still got a show in New Delhi, where McKenzie qualified Wednesday for the 100m semifinals. He likes to wear a Batman mask on his face, and a Superman ring on his left hand.

"They call me the Batman," said the 19-year-old McKenzie, who finished his second round heat in 10.40 seconds. "It was the idea of my little brothers, and I kind of liked it."

Bolt took showboating to another level at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, banging his fist on his chest and preening for the cameras while setting world records in both the 100m and 200m at the Bird's Nest.

He then lowered both record times at last year's world championships in Berlin and has become the biggest star in athletics.

Bolt's 100m record time of 9.58 is a long way clear of McKenzie's personal best of 10.35 in the 100m, but it's not in the race that McKenzie is going head-to-head with the Olympic champion. He still had the mask on for a TV interview after his first heat.

"These sports are entertainment," said McKenzie, who admitted that Bolt's antics "sort of" inspired him to find a way to liven up the fans at the stadium. "Just entertain any crowd."

He might even have a sidekick.

Teammate Oshane Bailey, who had the fastest time of the night at 10.12 seconds in the second round, went through school with McKenzie and has been a friend for years.

"If he's Batman, I'm Robin," said Bailey, adding that what McKenzie was doing was good for the sport because it motivates children.

The Superman ring is also because of his brothers, or one of them anyway.

"It's just something from my little brother. His middle name is Shaquille," said McKenzie, adding that his siblings - 4 and 15 years old - were his biggest fans but unfortunately didn't make the trip to India.

"I wish they were, but they're not here."

In that case, Batman will have save the day on his own.

Read more on:    commonwealth games  |  usain bolt

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