Bolt confirms he is the greatest sprinter ever
LONDON - The Associated Press
Despite his stunning victory in the 100m final, Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt says the job is not done yet, adding that he needs to win the 200m final to cement his place as the greatest. AFP photoAny doubts that Usain Bolt is the greatest sprinter to grace an athletics stadium were swept away in 9.63 seconds at the London Olympics on Aug. 5.
The Jamaican’s winning time in the 100 metres final was just five-hundredths of a second outside his own world record and he became the first man to cross the line first in successive Olympic finals.
Carl Lewis is the only other man to retain the 100 title, finishing second to Ben Johnson at the 1988 Seoul Olympics before claiming the gold medal when the Canadian was disqualified for a positive dope test.
Third-placed American Justin Gatlin compared Bolt to Michael Phelps, who retired from competitive swimming on Saturday night after winning a record 18 Olympic gold medals. Lewis is one of four athletes who have won nine.
Now Bolt will attempt to do what no man, including Lewis, has managed by retaining the 200 title.
“I just had to show the world I was the greatest,” Bolt said. “It means I’m one step closer to being a legend. Now I have to run the 200. I’m looking forward to it, it’s my favourite event.”
The clash between Bolt and his Jamaican training partner Yohan Blake, who finished second, had developed into the most eagerly awaited 100 metres race since the Lewis-Johnson matchup in Seoul.
The compact, muscular Blake won the world title in Daegu last year after Bolt false-started and then beat his compatriot over both the 100 and the 200 at this year’s Jamaican trials.
In Berlin, Bolt set the present mark of 9.58 in the 100 and reduced his 200 record to 19.19. World records customarily broken by hundredths of a second had fallen by a tenth.
“He’s the equivalent of the guy walking on the moon for the first time. He’s done something that no one has ever done before,” Gatlin said before the 100m final in London.
Now the superstar sprinter sets his sights on the 200-meter to complete his double. He will again be tested by Blake, but Bolt does not hesitate to send a “Hands off” message to fellow Jamaican and training partner.
“I’ve told Yohan Blake that the 200m will be different because that’s my pet event,” Bolt said.
“I’m not going to let him beat me again. I’ve said that to him already.”
Bolt, who will also look to retain the 4x100m relay and may even compete in the 4x400m relay if he emerges from the 200m in good shape, said that winning the 100m had taken him one step nearer to the tag of legend.
However, only a 200m victory, he said, would cement his claim to “greatest” status.
“I think I have to wait until the 200m and then my fans have got to say ‘yes he is’ and me has got to say ‘yes he is’ so I’m never going to say I’m the greatest until after my 200m,” said Bolt.