• London 2012 - Athletics

Lightning strikes twice for golden Bolt

ESPN staff
August 5, 2012 « London Olympics 2012 LIVE! | Chartbeat test »
Usain Bolt successfully defended his Olympic 100m title © Getty Images
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Usain Bolt confirmed his status as the fastest man on the planet after blazing to Olympic gold in the men's 100m final.

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In the blue riband event of the Games, the world record holder did not get off to a great start, but it did not matter as he streaked to victory to finish ahead of training partner Yohan Blake and American Justin Gatlin in a new Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds.

Bolt is only the second man in history after Carl Lewis in 1988 to defend his sprint crown, but the first man to cross the line first in two Olympic 100m finals - Lewis was awarded gold after Ben Johnson was stripped of his title for doping.

The form of the Jamaican had been in doubt in the run-up to London 2012, but he was simply too good as he came through to claim victory in a remarkable race which saw seven of the eight finalists run under 10 seconds.

"I was happy when I went out in the first round, I felt I could do this," he said. "I was slightly worried about my start. It was not the best reaction in the world but I stopped worrying about it and executed it and it worked.

"I said it on the track, people can talk, all they can do is talk. When it comes to championships I bring it. I knew [the crowd] would be like this, I can feel that energy and I am extremely happy."

Former world record holder Powell, who scraped into the final as a fastest loser, got off to a blistering start but appeared to stumble and eventually crossed the line in 11.99 seconds.

There was no British representation in the final as Dwain Chambers (10.05) Adam Gemili (10.06) and James Dasaolu (10.18) all fell in the semi-finals. Teenage sprint sensation Gemili was left to rue a poor start which ultimately cost him a place in the final.

Mens' 100m final

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