The silver medals from the 2007 Osaka World Championships boosted Bolt's desire to run, and he took a more serious, more mature stance towards his career. Bolt continued to develop in the 100 m, and he entered to run in the event at the Jamaica Invitational in Kingston. On 3 May 2008, Bolt ran a time of 9.76 s, aided by a tail wind of 1.8 m/s, considerably improving upon his previous personal best of 10.03 s.This was the second-fastest legal performance in the history of the event; second only to compatriot Asafa Powell's 9.74 s record set the previous year in Rieti, Italy. Rival Tyson Gay lauded the performance, praising Bolt's form and technique especially. Michael Johnson, who was observing the race, said that he was shocked at how quickly he had improved over the 100 m distance. The Jamaican surprised even himself with the time, but coach Glen Mills remained confident that there was more to come.
Mills' prediction came true before the end of the month when Bolt established a new 100 m world record on 31 May 2008. Pushed on by a tail wind of 1.7 m/s, Bolt ran 9.72 s at the Reebok Grand Prix held in the Icahn Stadium in New York City, breaking Powell's record. The record time was even more remarkable in light of the fact that it was only his fifth senior run over the distance. Gay again finished second and commended Bolt's physical superiority, stating, "It looked like his knees were going past my face".Commentators noted that Bolt appeared to have gained a psychological advantage over fellow Olympic contender Gay.
In June 2008, Bolt responded to claims that he was a lazy athlete, saying that the comments were unjustified, and he trained hard to achieve his potential. However, he surmised that such comments stemmed from his lack of enthusiasm for the 400 metres event, and chose to not make the effort to train for distance running. Turning his efforts to the 200 m, Bolt proved that he could excel in multiple events—first setting the world-leading time in Ostrava, then breaking the national record for the second time with a 19.67 s finish in Athens, Greece.Although Mills still preferred that Bolt focus on the longer distances, the acceptance of Bolt's demand to run in the 100 m worked for both sprinter and trainer. Bolt was more focused in practice, and a training schedule to boost his top speed and his stamina, in preparation for the Olympics, had improved both his 100 m and 200 m times. His confidence was building, and he was sure that he would perform well in the upcoming Olympics.
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