Cynics who thought Bolt was going to lose his Olympic crown should have had more faith
Only a fool would doubt Bolt. Only a lunatic would bet against him. No offence to anyone who did, but the world’s fastest man proved once again in the blue riband 100m final in the Olympic Stadium why he is the world’s No.1 sportstar.
Bolt is the Muhammad Ali of track and field; the Pele of athletics. He has turned the simple act of putting one foot in front of another into an art form. Bolt in full flight is the most majestic sight in sport.
He did not just win in London either. He demolished the opposition with the second-fastest time in history of 9.63 in chilly conditions that led most experts to dismiss any world record speculation.
The only superior performance is the 9.58 he ran in Berlin in 2009. Some thought those days were over and that the Bolt of today was no match for the doppleganger that tore the German track to bits.
How wrong they were. Bolt is just as good now as he was then. He is only 25 years old and when free of injury niggles there is no one who can touch him.
His rivals – led by training partner Yohan Blake – are no mugs either. In any other generation they would be lauded as superheroes.
To those who doubted he would win in London had a decent case to be fair. Bolt had admittedly not looked at his best since 2009. In 2010 he took a six-week break with a sore Achilles and looked rusty on the European circuit.
He false-started in the World Championships final in Daegu last year, leaving Blake clear to take gold. Then, earlier this year, he was beaten by Blake convincingly in the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Championships and the defeats were followed by stories about him suffering an injury niggle that might scupper his Olympic defence.
All along, Bolt said he’d be fine. That he would win. And that he would win spectacularly.
Yet many doubters remained. They popped a few dollars on Blake, Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin and convinced themselves that a new era was about to begin.
The new era will not begin for a while, though. He has speed, strength, power, confidence and charisma.
He also has something many of us lack. Belief.