Usain Bolt retained his 100m Olympic title tonight with an Olympic Record, overwhelming the rest of the pack who were left chasing the shadow of this phenomenal Jamaican athlete. Running a time of 9.63, Bolt beat his compatriot Yohan Blake, who ran in a time of 9.75 to clinch the silver medal ahead of the American duo Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay. The bronze medal ultimately went to Gatlin as he ousted his teammate by just 0.01 of a second, crushing Gay’s hopes of claiming an Olympic medal which has evaded him throughout his career.
After posting blistering times to qualify for the final, the eight runners ultimately stepped it up another level as the race inevitably lived up to its billing, with only Asafa Powell failing to run under ten seconds as he agonisingly pulled up injured halfway through the race.
Possessing the four fastest men in history in Bolt, Gay, Powell and Blake, the athletes were introduced to the 80,000-strong crowd with the usual parading and showmanship that precedes such races these days, led by the world record holder Bolt whose pre-race antics have gained him as much worldwide recognition as his actual racing.
Going on to take a sharp, nervous looking breath, Bolt placed himself on the starting blocks as he looked to the finishing line, knowing that the prospect of greatness was just under ten seconds away. After a sluggish start, he forced his way through the strongest field that the 100m final has ever seen, going on to set the second-fastest time in history along the way, putting his name alongside Archie Hahn and Carl Lewis, both of the USA, as a double Olympic 100m champion.
The men’s 100m final is widely regarded as the blue-ribbon event of the Olympics and, but for the British focus on the now-golden-girl Jessica Ennis, had been the major global talking point in the lead up to the Games as a consequence. With rumours that Bolt’s supremacy was waning due to the pressure of his teammate Blake and the false start in the 2011 World Championships final, the charismatic 6ft 5 Jamaican answered his critics in the best way possible – by clinching Gold and stealing the headlines all over again as he had done four years ago.
Attention will now turn to the 200m final on Thursday 9th with Bolt looking to cement his legendary status as he takes on Yohan Blake once again.