Usain Bolt won the men’s 100-meter Olympic final for the third time on this day in 2016.
The win in Rio underscored what was already well known – the greatest showman in the sport was also the greatest of all time.
At 29, Bolt had seen his supremacy challenged leading up to the Games. His previous best time of the year of 9.88 seconds at Kingston was only fourth best, with Justin Gatlin appearing in better form.
But Bolt’s 9.86s semi-final win in Rio was the fastest of them all and the Jamaican went into the final with a sense of anticipation on his shoulders.
He would be slow to come off the blocks, slower than Gatlin, but Bolt had the strength to break through in the final 60 meters and win his then seventh Olympic gold medal – although he was later stripped of his 2008 relay gold for a doping offense by teammate Nesta Carter.
The winning time of 9.81 seconds was a far cry from the world record of 9.58 he had set seven years earlier – a mark that still stands – suggesting Bolt was correct in stating before the Games that it would be his last.
“It wasn’t perfect today, but I did it and I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved,” said Bolt, who beat Gatlin by 0.08 with Canada’s Andre de Grasse third.
“I expected to go faster but I’m glad I won. I did what I had to do.”
Bolt would add the 200m title and 4x100m relay title to his collection in Rio.
He ended his career as planned after the 2017 World Cup, although he didn’t take the tone he had hoped.
He settled for bronze in the 100m final and then retired in the 4x100m relay final with a hamstring injury – teammates Omar McLeod, Julian Forte and Yohan Blake helped him across the line for the last time in his career.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/usain-bolt-rio-justin-gatlin-kingston-canada-b2144711.html On This Day in 2014: Another unbeatable performance by Usain Bolt