It is highly unlikely to find another athlete in the history of track and field, on a global level, that makes spectators hold their breaths whenever he or she is competing like Usain Bolt.
That feeling is multiplied tenfold by the electric atmosphere of an Olympic final when the stakes are highest. In Jamaica even the live broadcast of the popular lotto draw scheduled for the same time of the Olympic 100m final was pushed back.
On Sunday night all eyes were focused on Bolt, the six-time Olympic champion and world record-holder, in the most anticipated showdown of his illustrious career. Also in attendance was his country’s Prime Minister who flew into Rio for the occasion.
It was a typical Bolt-like performance as the superstar emphatically underlined his legendary status with his third successive 100m title in 9.81 seconds.
Bolt, after his historic victory said: “Somebody said I can become immortal.”
“Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal. It was brilliant. I didn’t go so fast, but I’m so happy I won,” said Bolt.
This Rio Olympic Games for Bolt represented – like it did for so many other great athletes performing in Rio – his farewell appearance. And he started his quest to sign off proper in a blaze of glory. Bolt, a man who often keeps his promises, delivered on the warning words that he gave to his ‘disrespectful’ American rivals of feeling his full wrath.
Bolt, who incidentally broke the Olympic 100m record at the previous two games in Beijing and London, was again in splendid form. He did not get the best start but it was fairly decent by his standards. This meant trouble for his rivals due to his unmatched top-end speed in the last 30m of the event.
American Justin Gatlin was out in a flash with his textbook start and so too was his teammate Trayvon Brommel and South African record-holder Akani Simbine trying their very best to dictate terms. However, the 100m has no margin for error and no one knows this better than Bolt.
The world’s greatest sprinter, in an all too familiar move, went into supersonic mode and zoomed ahead of the field. Everything happened in a flash. After Bolt crossed the finish line as if on cue everyone gazed at the screen to see the time (9.81). It was the first time Bolt had not run an Olympic record in the 100m final. Nevertheless, it was an awe-inspiring Olympic performance – three wins at three games in a row from the same man. It was a race for the ages that left an indelible memory in the minds of onlookers.
Trailing in his wake as he did in London four years ago was Justin Gatlin (9.89) settling for the silver medal.
Gatlin was satisfied with his efforts saying: “We work 365 days a year to be here for nine seconds.”
“At the age of 34, to race these young guys and still make the podium feels so good,” said Gatlin.
Canada’s Andre DeGrasse ran a personal best 9.91 seconds and added Olympic bronze to his world championship bronze. Bolt’s training partner Yohan Blake finished fourth in a season’s best 9.93 seconds and Simbine fifth in 9.94 seconds just ahead of Ivorian and African champion Ben Youssef Meite running his lifetime best 9.96.
Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut who showed so much promise after registering 9.8 seconds twice this season would have been disappointed with his 10.04 effort which placed him seventh.
Trayvon Brommel faded into the distance and out of contention. His time of 10.06 seconds saw him occupying eight position. It was a far cry from what he usually produces on the famous Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
One thought on “Bolt keeps crown and makes Olympic history”
Well done Bolt. Not enimagtic win but I guess the best he can do now in his career. However future looks rather dim for Jamaica Men sprinting when he’s gone. London 2012 four Jamaicans in the final (Gold & Silver). Rio 2016 two Jamaicans in the final “only” Gold. Looks like the world has caught up with Jamaica and USA in terms of sprinting.