Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Brands bet big on Super Bowl Sunday

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

A Paris hidden within its passages

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is France's desire to combat terrorism tipping over into hysteria?

Read more

Sports

Usain Bolt puts on game face to take 100-metre glory

Text by Sylvain MORNET

Latest update : 2012-08-06

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt added another chapter to his legendary career Sunday, setting a new Olympic record of 9.63 seconds for the 100-metre race at the London Games. Bolt's time was only .05 seconds slower than his own 100-metre world record.

Usain Bolt once more made history on Sunday, winning gold in the 100-metre race at the 2012 London Games and setting a new Olympic record.

Finishing the race in 9.63 seconds, he joined Carl Lewis as only the second sprinter to successfully defend the 100-metre title in back-to-back Olympics. But unlike the former American track and field star, Bolt finished both those races ahead of all the other runners – at the 1988 Games in Seoul, Lewis was designated the winner only after Canadian Ben Johnson was disqualified.

Despite the pressure and growing doubts over whether he could win gold again, the Jamaican sprinter – known for his nonchalance and contagious playfulness on the track – secured his fourth Olympic gold medal and wrote another chapter of sports history. His previous medals came at the 2008 Beijing Games for the 100- and 200-metre dashes and the 4x100-metre relay.

Finishing ahead of fellow Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake (9.75 seconds) and American Justin Gatlin (9.79 seconds), Bolt ran the world’s second-fastest time ever for the 100 metres, only .05 seconds behind the world record time of 9.52 he set at the Berlin World Championships in 2009.

Bolt thus conserved his “world’s fastest man” title and buried the troubling memory of his disqualifying false start at the final of the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

"It does play on my mind, I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about [the false start]. But when I came out and they announced my name and the crowd gave me that roar, everything just went away," Bolt said.

Strong finish

The Jamaican sprinter did not get a good jump off the starting blocks on Sunday evening, recording only the fifth-fastest reaction time of the group.

"I didn't get the best reaction in the world but I executed, that was the key. The coach said don't worry about it, the best part of your race is at the end,” he admitted later to reporters.

Despite the less-than-perfect start, Bolt overtook his rivals about halfway through the race and bore down on the finish line with uncharacteristic intensity and seriousness. The showman Bolt appeared only after the race was over.

Draped in the Jamaican flag and jogging alongside Blake – who was the world champion in 2011 and ran his personal best in the race – Bolt pointed at supporters and embraced friends in the stadium’s stands.

Another showdown

Bolt’s dash kept the 80,000 spectators in London in a near trance, and his brilliant win sent them into delirious applause. Because of the skepticism surrounding his ability to perform at previous levels, the victory was perhaps Bolt’s sweetest to date.

The win sealed his place in the pantheon of Olympic legends, but may only be the start of a brilliant competition for Bolt and team Jamaica. On Thursday Bolt will once more face off against Blake in the 200-metre dash, and later he will compete in the 4x100-metre relay, giving the living legend the chance of leaving London with three golds.

Date created : 2012-08-06

  • OLYMPIC GAMES 2012

    French book examines why black sprinters dominate the Olympics

    Read more

  • OLYMPIC GAMES 2012

    Bolt’s legacy as ‘world’s fastest man’ at risk

    Read more

  • Sport

    Blake shocks Bolt again in Olympic trials

    Read more

COMMENT(S)