【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. reclaim [ree-KLEYM] (v.) – to get something back after it was lost or stolen
Example: The athlete lost his world title last year but was able to reclaim it this year.
2. pummel [PUHM-uh l] (v.) – to hit something repeatedly
Example: The boxer pummeled his opponent repeatedly in the last round, resulting in a knock-out victory.
3. dampen [DAM-puh n] (v.) – to make something weaker or less active
Example: The team’s third loss further dampened the chances of winning the championship this season.
4. neck and neck [nek and nek] (idiom) – very close or equal in a race or a competition
Example: The swimmers from China and Russia were neck and neck until the Chinese swimmer widened his lead to claim his first Olympic gold medal.
5. false start [fawls stahrt] (idiom) – a movement by an athlete, such as in a race, before the starting signal
Example: In 2011, Usain Bolt got disqualified from the 100m finals of the world championships due to a false start.
Read the text below.
Usain Bolt reclaimed the 100-meter world title after winning another individual gold medal at the Moscow World Championships in August this year.
Bolt, known as the fastest person in the world, did not allow the heavy rains pummeling the venue to dampen his enthusiasm. The athlete clocked 9.77 seconds, beating Justin Gatlin of the US who registered 9.85 seconds and Nesta Carter, whose running time was 9.95 seconds.
In Bolt’s interview after his victory, he admitted that he could have done better. According to Bolt, his legs were sore during the 100m run because he had just participated in the semi-finals. Despite his condition, he still managed to register the eight-fastest time of his career and he is happy about it.
Silver medalist Gatlin observed that Bolt has been working on his reaction time. When the gun went off, Bolt and Gatlin both registered a reaction time of 0.163 seconds. Indeed, the two athletes were neck and neck until Bolt started coming out ahead in the latter part of the race.
This victory is widely seen as a much-needed redemption not only for Bolt who got disqualified from the finals two years ago due to a false start, but also for the sport itself whose reputation has been tainted by doping scandals. The most recent scandal to rock the sport was a failed drug test by Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Kelly-Ann Baptiste.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· What do you think makes an athlete successful? Discuss with your tutor.
· Do you agree that athletes do not need to take performance-enhancing drugs just to win a game? Why or why not?
· Do you get excited when athletes from your country win in international competitions? Why or why not?
· Should governments make sports a priority when allocating budgets? Why or why not?