OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Invincible Bolt defends Olympic 100m title
By Sean-Paul Doran, London 2012
USAIN Bolt stormed to victory in the London 2012 men’s 100 metres final as he defended his title with an Olympic record.
THE BEST THERE'S EVER BEEN: Usain Bolt was invincible in his 100m Olympic title defence as the fastest person to have ever lived claimed his fourth gold medal
The now four-time Olympic champion ran a stunning 9.63 seconds to beat his compatriot, training partner and main rival Yohan Blake into second place as the Olympic Stadium erupted in applause.
The 23-year-old world champion set a new personal best of 9.75 secs but watched as 'Lightning' Bolt led the pack across the line to retain his title and cement his place in the record books, something that Bolt was always intending to do.
"When I went out in the first round I felt like I can do this. I was slightly worried about my start, I didn’t want a false start again," said 25-year-old Bolt.
"I think I sat in the blocks a little bit so I don’t think it was the best reaction in the world but I executed it and that was key.
"My coach said stop worrying about the start, your best part of the race is at the end, that’s where you rule. I stopped worrying about the start and I executed it so it worked."
Coming into the Olympics, Blake had beaten Bolt in both the 100m and 200m in the Jamaican Olympic qualifiers, leaving many questioning the world record holder's fitness and mental state.
"I’ve nothing to say, I said it out on the track. People can talk, all they can do is talk. I tell you people that, when it comes to the championship, how about this is for me. I brought it," said Bolt.
"I have to give thanks to Blake. He works harder than me, definitely. When it comes to business I know what I have to do. I know have a great talent.
"I think he's going to do better next time. I think he was a little stressed because this is a major race.
"He beat almost everybody so now he’s going to be more confident and I know he’s going to do much better next time."
USA's Justin Gatlin - who won the Athens title - beat teammate Tyson Gay into bronze medal position and set a new personal best of 9.79 secs in doing so.
In a race with the four fastest men in the history of the world, seven of the eight sprinters ran sub-10 seconds to produce one of the most memorable moments in Olympic history, as former world record holder Asafa Powell pulled up with injury.
The pre-Olympic talk was dominated by the battle of the Jamaican powerhouses and whether the reigning king – Bolt – or the young upstart – current world champion Yohan Blake – would emerge victorious.
"I’ve been to this level and I know what it takes. Bolt’s a world beater and he’s the fastest man in the world and I have to give him thanks for motivating me a lot," said Blake making his Games debut.
"This is my first Olympics and I got a silver medal, what more can I ask for."
An estimated one billion people across the world were expected to tune in to ‘the greatest show on earth’, and Bolt and company certainly delivered a denouement worthy of the tag.
© Sportsbeat 2012