Usain Bolt, the fastest man ever, proved he is still as good as gold, coasting to victory in what was most eagerly-anticipated and keenly- contested 100-metre sprint final of all time.
The Jamaican set a new Olympic record of 9.63 seconds to become only the second man in history to successfully defend his 100-metre title after American Carl Lewis.
World champion and Bolt’s training partner Yohan Blake made it a Jamaican night when he took silver in 9.75sec and 2004
Olympic champion Justin Gatlin of the United States grabbed bronze in 9.79.
The first seven men all broke 10 seconds, first time in history, with former world record holder Asafa Powell being the only exception. Powell pulled up with a groin injury near the end to ruin a potential Jamaican sweep.
Tyson Gay, the best sprinter never to have won an Olympic medal, finished agonisingly fourth and then broke down in tears on a night that had everything to celebrate otherwise.
The night completely belonged to Bolt, who had a growing doubt over his fitness but a firm determination to cement his place among the sport’s legends. All he needed was just a kicking and they came in the semi-final when he gave a strong message of what to expect in the final race.
‘After the semi-finals I was really confident because my legs felt great, my execution was great so I was really confident in myself,’ Bolt told reporters.
‘I never remembered I was running against the clock until it was 30 metres to go, then “world record” popped into my head.
‘I looked across at the clock but it was too late to do anything about it then. It was the second fastest time in the world, so I am happy.
‘I was slightly nervous before I came out but after the cheer that I got when they were introducing me, all those jitters went away. I was like this is it, this is game time,’ Bolt said.
His start was again not that great as Powell took the early lead and Blake, Gatlin all ahead of him. But the 80,000 delirious crowd and all his competitors knew the race was over once he had typical acceleration half-way through.
His eyes were on the clock on finish and face giving an indication of relief before he pointed to the sky to celebrate the win. No further serious celebration followed apart from lap of honour and flag waving as Bolt put them on hold for 200-metre dash.
Just two hours after repeating the history, he was already talking about next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
‘I hope I’m there, although I’ll be 30 but Blake will be 26, so that will be interesting. Blake did a better run than me today. I hope I’m still in great shape. I’m looking forward to it,’ said Bolt.
-With New Age input