The World’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, has brought home another gold from the Rio Olympics in spectacular fashion, winning his ninth gold medal for Jamaica and certainly ending his Olympic career on a high note. The win has marked an unprecedented triple gold win at the Olympics in a sport where to claim one gold medal can be a lifetime achievement.
At 29-years-old, track and field superstar Usain Bolt has claimed gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics for every race he entered and has become the only man to win all three sprint events, the 100m, 200m, and the men’s 4×100 meter relay, in three straight Olympic Games.
Carrying the hopes and spirit of Jamaica, Usain Bolt anchored the 4×100 meter relay and combined with Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake, and Nickel Ashmeade, Jamaica finished the race on Friday night in 37.27 seconds. It is a feat that USA Today has said is truly a fantastic way to cap off Usain Bolt’s Olympic legacy. Japan was a surprise medalist, claiming silver after running a surprising 37.60, while the USA, who had originally gained bronze, were later disqualified. The U.S. being out meant that Canada was now free to claim that particular medal with a time of 37.64.
In terms of medals, Usain Bolt now joins the ranks of American sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis, who also has nine Olympic gold medals after claiming victory in the 100m, 4x100m relay, and four times in the long jump event which, Fox News has claimed, makes him an arguably better all-round athlete. Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi also lays claim to nine gold medals in the Olympics.
In February, Usain confirmed to the media that he plans to retire after the 2017 World Championships, and this fact means that Rio will mark the end of one of the greatest Olympic careers that the world has seen so far. Bolt will be sorely missed, as he was as beloved by fans the world over as he is talented, and doubts exist that any other athlete will ever come close.
The relay is the only race that starter Asafa Powell ran in the Rio Olympics, while unfortunately neither Nickel Ashmeade, nor Yohan Blake managed to win or even medal in either the 100m or 200m races. Blake actually missed the 200m final altogether. However, Bolt’s teammates were undoubtedly a huge help in his gaining that “triple triple” medal winner title as they ensured that each baton pass was as smooth as possible and for the most part, maintaining a lead on each leg of the journey.
Jamaica against America was a highly-anticipated match up and Powell, the former world record holder, got things off to a strong start against American lead-off Mike Rodgers and Yohan Blake who came fourth in the individual 100m and is a silver medalist from 2012, matched up against Justin Gatlin and kept things evenly paced. Nickel Ashmeade has taken his fair share of disparaging comments for his own performance, but he shined along the curve effortlessly creating a small gap between himself and American Tyson Gay. Once Bolt received the baton, in his trademark fashion, the world’s fastest man left quite a gap between himself and the other runners in the finals.
The disqualification for the U.S occurred after replays showed an illegal baton exchange, taking place outside of the zone from the very first change. This made the ninth time since 1995 that the U.S. men’s team has been disqualified or have failed to get the baton change done at an Olympics or world championships event.
Jamaica’s woman’s 4×100 meter relay team did not do as well as the men’s unfortunately, with visibly poor baton changes slowing down the team. The U.S. women took the gold with 41.01 seconds and Jamaica took silver with 41.36, while Great Britain (41.77) claimed bronze.
[Photo by David J. Phillip/AP Images]