Bolt doubles up to shatter legend's record
MICHAEL JOHNSON gave a rueful smile and then joined a stunned stadium in disbelieving applause as Usain Bolt scrubbed his name from the record books yesterday.
BOLT FROM BLUE: Former 200m world record holder watches on in awe as Usain Bolt strikes again
The track legend, watching from the stands, had predicted his 12-year old best from the 1996 Atlanta Games would stand the test from the new kid on the sprinting blocks.
But Jamaican Bolt ensured his place alongside Michael Phelps as the face of these Olympics with a storming run that left the Bird's Nest open mouthed for the second time in five days.
90,000 unblinking eyes were fixed on the Jamaican in lane five - who became the first man since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win the Olympic sprint double.
His rivals were beaten off the blocks and Bolt's only true race was with Johnson's best. He flashed across the line in 19.30 seconds - shaving two hundredths from the former record.
Britain's Christian Malcolm was well over a second slower, back in a distant sixth and a mere eyewitness to history.
"I'm shocked by the time," admitted Bolt. "I knew the track was fast but I never thought this was possible.
"I got away well and ran the corner as hard as I could. As I entered the straight I just told myself ‘keep it up, don't die on me now'. I left everything on the track.
"This record means so much, I've been aspiring to it for so long. Michael Johnson was a great athlete but I can't compare myself to anyone, I'm just trying to be me."
Endless replays of Bolt's 100m victory have dominated Chinese television in recent days - and few have tired of reliving a moment in sporting history that gets better with every viewing.
However, his encore will be every bit as enduring.
And, ominously for his rivals, he believes he can go even faster. And considering he only turns 22 today, Bolt has plenty of running left.
"I've worked so hard to become the champion and I will work even harder to stay the champion and stay on top of the world," he added.
"I don't know what is next but anything is possible if I put my mind to it. First I want gold in the relay then I want to sit in my sandals on the beach.
"I knew I could go fast so it's not a big surprise. Everything just came right and I blew my mind, I blew the world's mind."
A chorus of cynics, who will only grow louder and more disciplined, will raise a collective eyebrow to Bolt's fleet of foot.
He claims to have nothing to hide. For the sake of his sport let's hope he is right.