It’s become the sporting spectacle of the 21st century — Usain Bolt arrives at an Olympic Games and walks away with the 100-meter gold medal.
While his days of breaking world records over the distance might have passed, he’s still able to deliver on the biggest stage.
With fears over security and empty seats threatening to overshadow Rio 2016, the Jamaican has provided the good news story everybody craved, crossing the line in 9.81 seconds to fend off the challenge of rival Justin Gatlin in Sunday’s final.
The American is a divisive figure in track and field due to his two doping bans, and he was booed before both the final and his semifinal.
Gatlin, the 100m champion of Athens 2004, was unable to dethrone Bolt as the Olympic sprint king.
Bolt added to his legacy by becoming the first athlete to win the 100m at three different Games. He’s now the overwhelming favorite to compete a “triple-triple” by adding the 200m and 4 x 100m titles to his collection.
“Somebody said I can become immortal,” Bolt said moments after his triumph, as the sounds of Bob Marley reverberated around the Olympic Stadium. “Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal.”
Away from the battle between Bolt and Gatlin, Canada’s Andre De Grasse won the bronze medal.
Bolt, meanwhile, was left unimpressed by the welcome afforded to Gatlin.
“That’s the first time I’ve gone into a stadium and they’ve started to boo,” the 29-year-old admitted. “It surprised me.”
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