AFP's Usain Bolt lightning photo: 'If I tried for another 50 years, it would never happen again'

The AFP photographer who captured Usain Bolt crossing the finish line at the World Athletics Championships 100m final in Moscow on Sunday as lightning struck in the background has played down his achievement.

The photo was taken with the final remote control camera out of five set up on the edge of the track, AFP has revealed.

Photographer Olivier Morin was hoping to get a shot of the winner coming through, arms in the air, with the stadium as the background. But when Bolt won the race, he crossed the finish line with no visible display of emotion.

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Morin said: "I nevertheless pressed the remote control button to set off the cameras’ triggers.

"At first I didn’t see the lightning, because the image was so small on the preview panel."

But then he noticed there were four shots with lightning visible, two of which were useable.

"I realised then that I might have something pretty good, and with a bit of luck, it would be the right photo. But I completely underestimated the media storm that this image would generate..

"In 25 years of career, I have never had an outside, uncontrollable element make the shot. And I think that if I tried for another 50 years, it would never happen again. I really can only take 1 per cent credit for this photo."

AFP said last night that the photo had been retweeted 12,000 times since being put out on the AFP Twitter feed.

Morin, 47, has been an AFP photojournalist for 27 years, and is currently based in Milan.



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