Usain Bolt wins Olympic gold in men’s 100m final
Usain Bolt defended his 100m Olympic title with ease as he won gold in a time of 9.81 seconds ahead of Justin Gatlin in Rio de Janeiro.
The controversial American claimed silver in 9.89secs, while 21-year-old Canadian Andre de Grasse secured bronze in 9.91secs but both were left trailing by a trademark second 50m from the brilliant Jamaican showman.
Bolt adds Rio 2016 to London 2012 and Beijing 2008 to his Olympic 100m gold medal collection and he will now look to emulate the last two Games by adding 200m and 4x100m relay glory to his success on Sunday night.
In truth Bolt, not a great starter by his own admission, never looked like being beaten, and depsite being slow out of the blocks again and trailing Gatlin at halfway he powered home in the closing stages to claim his seventh Olympic gold.
Bolt’s Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake missed out on a medal as he came home fourth, with all but two of the competitors breaking the 10-second barrier.
Bolt’s time was a season’s best, but his slowest winning mark in a global 100m final. His previous Olympic final times were 9.69 in Beijing, then a world record, followed by an Olympic record 9.63 in London.
Competing in his final Olympics ahead of his planned retirement after next year’s World Championships in London, he told the BBC: “I’m really happy but I expected to go faster. I’m just happy that I won and that’s the key thing.
“After the semi-final I felt extremely good. I wanted to run faster but with the turnaround time, we normally have two hours, but we had one hour 20 minutes, it was challenging. This is what we train for. I told you guys I was going to do it. Stay tuned, two more to go.”
Gatlin – who served a four-year ban from athletics after testing positive for the banned steroid testosterone in 2006 -was booed by some sections of the Rio crowd as he entered the stadium and Bolt admitted he was shocked by their response.
“I was surprised. It is the first time I have come into a stadium and they booed someone. It was shocking,” added Bolt.
Gatlin, the Olympic champion in 2004 before Bolt’s domination began, said: “At the age of 34, to race these young guys and still make the podium feels so good.”