Usain Bolt managed “only” to clock 19.78, certainly not a time befitting the world’s fastest man, but still he managed to win the 200-meter finals handily.
That’s just goes to show that even when slowed down, still nobody can catch up to the Jamaican sprinter.
Indeed, the 2016 Rio Olympics has become a showcase for Usain Bolt to cement his legacy as one of the best to run on the track. His performance was made even more surprising considering that he suffered a hamstring injury during the pre-qualifiers and his presence in Rio was in doubt.
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) August 19, 2016
More than the competition, the 29-year-old has greater goals in mind; he wants his name to become synonymous with sport alongside such legends as Muhammad Ali and Pele.
“I hope after these Games I will be in that bracket,” he said in a report from CNN.
The race wasn’t even close, with the Jamaican quickly building the distance at the first turn, though the slippery track slowed down all the runners. Even without turning his head, he knew that his closest rival, Canadian Andre De Grasse, was still a few feet behind him.
Indeed, nobody was within his field of vision when he looked around as he stepped onto the white line.
Usain Bolt then assumed his signature pose: raising his left hand to the air, as the crowd cheered.
However, with his birthday just around the bend, he also knows his vulnerability. Even on the track, when it seemed like he was flying, he could sense it.
“I ran hard around the turn. On the straight, my body didn’t respond. I’m getting old,” he told reporters.
That means Usain Bolt’s lightening quick performances in the 200-meter may be coming to an end. He previously said that during the World Championships in London next year, if he’s going to compete it would be strictly in the 100-meters, where his short bursts of power arestill unparalleled.
“I said it would be 100m and that’s it. My coach has a way of trying to convince me, but personally I believe this is my last one,” he told BBC Sport.
During the 200-meter semis, De Grasse managed to go neck-and-neck against the long strides of the 6-foot-5 athlete, trailing only by 0.02 seconds. But to the eyes of experts, he did not take the race seriously, even flashing a smile at the younger opponent.
By again winning his third gold at the Rio Olympics, Usain Bolt proved once again that, at full power, nobody can match his speed.
Usain Bolt has dominated the sprint double three times now, after Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. He also has the opportunity to win his ninth gold during the 4×100 relay on Friday, although the chance of that happening just got dimmer when Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade failed to qualify for the 200-meter final.
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) August 19, 2016
At this point, he said that he has nothing left to prove, and that’s why the prospect of competing in the double sprints holds little allure.
“There are no words to explain. Eight time Olympic Champion. The 200 means a lot more to me and I have been enjoying it,” he said in a report from Yahoo Sports.
“There is nothing else I can do. I have proven to the world that I’m the greatest. That’s what I came here for and that’s what I’ve been doing. That is why it’s my last Olympics. I can’t prove anything else.”
Usain Bolt will leave behind a great legacy as well as world records that will no doubt go unbroken for years to come. His talent and charizma have brought tremendous attention to track and field, and he knows it. “I’ve made the sport exciting, made people want to see the sport,” he told the New York Times.
[Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images]