• London 2012 - Athletics

Bolt storms to 200m glory to make history

ESPN staff
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Usain Bolt became the first man to successfully defend both the Olympic 100m and 200m titles after beating fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake in a thrilling final over the longer distance.

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Having recorded an Olympic record on Sunday to hold onto the 100m crown he won in Beijing four years ago, Bolt wrote his name into the history books with a breathtaking performance in his favoured 200m, clocking 19.32s to easily hold off Blake.

Bolt, not known for his fast starts, got out of the blocks well and had a clear lead coming off the bend. Blake came back strongly as they entered the straight but Bolt showed great endurance to maintain his speed, even slowing down ahead of the line with victory assured.

Blake ran 19.44 to scoop a second Olympic silver medal, while Warren Weir completed a Jamaican clean sweep, claiming bronze in 19.84.

"This is what I wanted and I got it," Bolt told BBC Sport. "I'm very proud of myself. After a rough season I came out here and did it. I thought the world record was possible. I guess I was fast but not fit enough. I could feel my back strain a little bit, so all I did was to keep my form. I'm very dedicated to my work and London meant so much to me."

The men's 800m final witnessed a new world record as David Rudisha of Kenya crossed the line in 1:40.91s. Britain's Andrew Osagie finished eighth but ran a new personal best of 1:43.77. Rudisha set his stall out from the start, accelerating to the front of the pack before leading them through lap one in 49 seconds. From there he streaked away, employing those trademark long strides to power over the line and beat the previous best time of 1:41.01.

David Rudisha set a new 800m world record © PA Photos
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Reflecting on his eighth-placed finish, Osagie said: "Those kind of times would get a medal in any other championships, but David is on such good form. It was an honour to be in that race. I've run in the final of a home Olympics and I've run a PB, but I've finished last! Mixed emotions."

Lynsey Sharp's dreams of reaching the women's 800m final faded quickly as she finished seventh in the opening heat of the night. Caster Semenya, the 2009 world champion, looked extremely comfortable to qualify in a time of 1:57.68 and will be an enormous favourite to win the final.

Christian Taylor, the reigning world champion, added the Olympic title after leaping 17.81m in the triple jump final. A jump of 17.62m was enough for United States compatriot Will Claye to claim silver, with Fabrizio Donato taking bronze.

In the women's javelin, Czech Barbora Spotakova successfully defended her title after throwing a season's best of 69.55m. Germany's Christina Obergfoll scooped silver.

Despite finishing sixth in his 1500m heat, Ashton Eaton of the United States was crowned Olympic decathlon champion, finishing with a total of 8,869 points. Compatriot Trey Hardee claimed silver with 8,671, with Cuba's Leonel Suarez (8,523) third.

In the women's 4x100m relay heats, USA laid down a marker by coming within 0.05 of breaking the Olympic record. With no Great Britain team competing, the crowd were still richly entertained as the American quartet clocked 41.64. In the other heat, Jamaica came through unscathed despite some poor changeovers, qualifying behind winners Ukraine in 42.37.

Mens' 200m final

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