King Bolt retains 100m title
Richards-Ross ends US 400m drought
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt sealed his status as the greatest sprinter of all time after retaining the men’s Olympic 100m title with an electrifying display in London, last night.
The world record holder turned on the after-burners at 60m to clock an Olympic record of 9.63sec, the second fastest time in history.
“I executed and that was the key,” Bolt said.
“When it comes to the championships, it’s all about business for me and I brought it.”
Jamaican compatriot and training partner Yohan Blake claimed silver after equalling his personal best of 9.75sec.
American 2004 Olympic gold medallist Justin Gatlin completed his remarkable comeback from a four-year doping ban by taking the bronze medal in a personal best of 9.79sec.
The 2007 double world champion Tyson Gay came in fourth, one hundredth of a second off his team-mate Gatlin in 9.80sec, with a third American, Ryan Bailey, fifth in 9.88.
The sell-out 80,000-capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium were on their feet when the eight finalists, including the four fastest men in the world – Bolt, Gay, Blake and Asafa Powell – lined up.
As the television cameras picked out each racer, the excitement mounted as they reached Bolt in lane seven, dressed in black shorts and the yellow and green singlet of the Jamaican team.
As silence descended, the gun went and Bolt’s reaction time from the blocks saw him rocket away, but Gatlin had the edge on his left.
Bolt, however, pushed his huge frame through his renowned drive and transition phase after 50 metres.
Teeth gritted and long legs pumping, Bolt completed what turned out to be a remarkably comfortable victory given the quality and strength of the field.
After Bolt crossed the line, he immediately set off on a lap of victory, a Jamaican flag draped over his shoulders and Blake in tow.
It was a remarkable result for the Jamaican who revolutionised sprinting four years ago in Beijing, setting then-world records when winning the 100 and 200m titles.
Bolt lost his world 100m title in Daegu, South Korea, last July to Blake after sensationally false starting in the final, but has fired back in most emphatic fashion.
Earlier in the evening, Sanya Richards-Ross won the women’s 400m Olympic title in a time of 49.55sec to end a 28-year gold drought in the event for the US.
Defending champion Christine Ohuruogu, of Great Britain, finished second in 49.70sec while DeeDee Trotter, of the US, took bronze in 49.72sec.
Richards-Ross, 27, became the first American to win the Olympic title since Valerie Brisco-Hooks in Los Angeles in 1984.
In the next final, Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi won the men’s 3,000m steeplechase in a time of 8min 18.56sec.
Kemboi, who also won gold at the Athens Games in 2004, finished ahead of France’s Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad, who clocked 8:19.08 for silver, with another Kenyan, Abel Kiprop Mutai taking bronze (8:19.73).
Meanwhile, South African double amputee Oscar Pistorius had failed to qualify for the men’s 400m final.
The 25-year-old had on Saturday become the first double amputee to compete in an athletics event at the Olympics, but he was never in contention in his semi-final and finished last in his heat in a time of 46.54sec.
In field events, Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova won gold in the women’s triple jump and Hungary’s Kristzian Pars prevailed in the men’s hammer.
World indoor champion Rypakova, 27, leapt a season’s best of 14.98 metres.
Colombian Caterina Ibarguen claimed silver with 14.80m, with Ukraine’s current world champion Olha Salduha taking bronze with 14.79m.
The 30-year-old Pars recorded a winning mark of 80.59m, beating defending champion Primoz Kozmus, 79.36m, while Japan’s 2004 gold medallist Koji Murofushi took bronze, 78.71m.