Usain Bolt won the Olympic Games 100 metres title in Beijing, China and again in London, England. Each time, the victory was a part of a triple gold medal haul, which propelled him to legendary status before the start of Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that is currently taking place.
Sunday, he added another 100 metres gold to the list and like the two immediate previous editions of the Games, will also be looking to capture the 200 and 4×100 metres relay to add to the already seven gold medals won.
Bolt, in an illustrious career, has only lost one race in a major championships since 2008. So on Sunday although he faced the prospect of a defeat to the fastest man in the world this year, Justin Galin, he was never fazed and executed another defeat to the American.
In his usual lighthearted style, Bolt said at a press conference after the victory, “I am happy.”
“I am very happy. I am proud of myself. This is what I came here for to prove to the world that I am the best again. So it is a good start and I am just really happy,” Bolt said.
“I wasn’t worried. After the semifinals I think my confidence went way up because I executed pretty well. So I was confident. I knew I got a bad start. All I could tell myself was ‘listen, don’t panic, take your time and just work your way back’ and that’s what I did.”
As usual, Bolt was again left in the blocks. He was second slowest to react to the starter’s gun and had to make up grounds as Gatlin took the lead, until around the 80 metres mark, where he overhauled the 2004 Olympic winner before winning easily.
According to Bolt, however, it never crossed his mind during the race that he would have lost.
He said, “when you see it (Gatlin’s lead) on the replay it looked actually worse than it actually felt in the race. I knew that was going to happen. He always gets a good start so I just told myself to take my time. Just take my time and chip away at the lead and that’s what I did. I took my time and chipped away at the lead.”
A winning time of 9.80 seconds is nothing near the world record of 9.58 he clocked at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, Germany, but while he had a few issues that he felt prevented him from going faster, another victory, another gold medal to tuck away in his cabinet, was just as pleasing.
“Yea, I really expected to run faster but the turnaround time was really bad for any athlete. As soon as you finish running and get back to the warm up area, it pretty much time to get back in. So I was actually tired after the 100 metres and (usually) I was never tired. But this was because I never got much time to rest and it was truly ridiculous, but it was just one of those things. I always say I come here for the win, not the time.
“After I run in the semifinals I felt good. I felt really smooth. So I knew if I ran through the line I probably would have run the world record or ran close to it. The possibility is there and this is a good lineup for the 200 now, so I am looking forward to it,” he said.
Asked about his greatest 100 metres memory from the Olympic Games, he said, “for me I can’t pick a memory. It is just the wins that really count. I am just happy that I keep winning and that’s the key thing. So my focus is to move on to the 200 now and try to get it done. I am always confident going into the 200 metres. I think the 100 metres is always the hardest one for me. So going into the 200 now, I am confident about that.”
He said he is ready to get the treble treble.
“I think it is very important. I never knew how nervous I was until I actually started competing, I could tell that in my mind I knew it was very important so I had to get it done. For me it is big. To do this three times it is a big deal because no one has ever done it before or even attempted, so for me to come out here and do this, is just magnificent.”