Usain St. Leo Bolt solidified his legendary status last Sunday night (August 14) when he captured his third consecutive 100m title in a season best time of 9.81 seconds (+0.2mps). The 29 year old Jamaican delivered a gutsy and impressive performance to take his fifth individual Olympic title, beating the feisty American, Justin Gatlin (9.89); Canada’s Andre De Grasse (9.91) settled for third and Bolt’s teammate, Yohan Blake, finished in 4th place (9.93). Heading into his final Olympic Games, Bolt was injury-plagued which severely hampered his training and even lead to his early exit from the Jamaican National Trials back in late-June.
Bolt applied for and received medical exemption and was offered the opportunity to prove his fitness heading into the Rio Games. At the London Anniversary Games in July, Bolt confirmed his readiness for competition when he won the 200m in a season best time of 19.89 seconds.
On Sunday night, while the whole world was watching, Bolt overcame a poor start to retain his 100m Olympic crown. For the first 50m of the race, Bolt seemed all but beaten as Gatlin had taken total control of the race. But the Jamaican was not to be denied his chance at history. He found another gear and was able to reel in Gatlin, and began pulling away to take the title in convincing fashion. The man, who the Brazilian and the entire world wanted to see, did not disappoint.
Bolt could have gone faster
The 9.81 seconds was noticeably slower that the 9.58 seconds 100m world record that Bolt set at the 2009 Berlin World Championship. Bolt was expected to run faster than 9.81 seconds, after running 9.86 seconds in the semi-final 85 minutes earlier. Perhaps 85 minutes was not sufficient time to allow the athletes to recover and to get mentally ready to run fast times in the finals. Bolt has voiced his disappointment with the closeness of the semi-final and finals. And that may have led to his sluggish start in the final.
After soaking up the 100m victory by taking selfies with fans, there is still more work to be done as the legendary sprinter now turn his attention to his favorite event, the 200m. Qualification rounds starts today (August 16) and waiting in the wings are the Americans Justin Gatlin and LaShawn Merritt.
The only questions remains is whether the 6’5” Jamaican superstar will break his 200m world record of 19.19 seconds.
Picture: Usain Bolt at the 2015 adidas Grand Prix in New York . Photo by Joe Swift (Our World Media Megazine)