Usain Bolt has once again set lofty standards in the 100-metre race after winning the much-anticipated sprint showdown in the Rio Olympics. Bolt, who became the first athlete to win gold in three consecutive 100m sprints at the Olympics in Rio after previously bagging gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Olympics consecutively, clocked 9.81 seconds. The time set doesn’t beat his previous best records, most notably in the 2009 World championships where he set a world record at 9.58 seconds, breaking his previous record at the Beijing Olympics which was set at 9.69 seconds, but it was enough to guarantee him first spot ahead of rivals Justin Gatlin, who was tipped to beat the Jamaican sprinter before the race. “It wasn’t perfect today but I got it done and I’m pretty proud of what I achieved, nobody else has done it or even attempted it,” said Bolt.
Bolt got off to a slow start in the race, something which he has been culpable of in previous races, but picked up after 6.1 seconds and surged past Gatlin to win the race, leaving the American with no choice but to settle for the silver medal. Fellow Jamaican and teammate Yohan Blake finished fourth, behind Canadian Andre de Grasse who took bronze.
The race was one of the most anticipated showpieces in the Olympics, and the stage had been set for what was meant to be an epic race, given that American Justin Gatlin who is an Olympic gold medallist after winning the 100m sprint in Athens, Greece in the 2004 Olympics, had shown signs of a comeback in previous races and world championships. Usain Bolt made sure he made the headlines though as he waits for the men’s 200m race on Tuesday and the 100m relay that starts on Friday, as he hopes to bag a third successive Olympic treble.