Usain Bolt achieves history by winning back-to-back Olympic 100m and 200m titles as he leads a Jamaican clean-sweep
Usain Bolt said he wanted to become a legend at these Games and while this can be an over-used word in sport, the Jamaican achieved legendary status tonight.
Bolt became the first athlete to successfully defend an Olympic 200m title and in doing so, he also became the first sprinter to win back-to-back Olympic 100m and 200m titles.
In recent Olympic history, the closest an athlete has come to achieving this feat was Carl Lewis who won 100m and 200m gold in 1984 before 100m gold and 200m silver in 1988.
There were question marks to Bolt’s fitness before the Games as he was beaten by Yohan Blake over 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Championships and he also pulled out of a Diamond League meeting in Monaco but Bolt, who thrives in the cauldron of the major championships arena, got his mojo back after defending his Olympic 100m crown before sauntering into the 200m final in trademark show-boating style.
Drawn in lane seven, Bolt blasted from the blocks and immediately drew up a sizeable lead over Blake, who holds the second fastest time ever at 19.26. The gap off the bend wouldn’t have been an unassailable one if Blake was racing anyone else other than Bolt but the reigning champion drew away again in the final 50m and he could afford to ease back and glance at his rival as he crossed the line in 19.32.
The conditions had many people musing about the possibility of a world record but Bolt, who by his own admission was only 95% fit heading into the Games, said: “I knew it would be possible. I came off the corner but I was not quick enough. I could feel the strain in my back a bit.”
Blake, who chased Bolt in vain in the home straight, ran his second fastest time ever of 19.44 which was the fastest ever mark for a runner-up spot.
Emulating the United States in 2004, Warren Weir completed a Jamaican clean sweep with bronze in a PB of 19.84.
So, what’s next for Bolt after the 2012 Games? He said earlier in the week he’d like to continue until 2016 and he’s mused about the possibility of moving up to the 400m but after race, he said: “I’ve got nothing left to prove. I’ve showed the world I’m the best and, right now, I just want to enjoy myself.”