On the night of Sunday August 5th 2012 more than 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the Olympic men’s 100 meter sprint final. The line-up included the current world record holder, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, his closest rival and fellow country man Yohan Blake, record breaking Jamaican Asafa Powell American 100 metre record holder Tyson Gay and 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin.
Bolt has now cemented his spot in Olympic history by becoming only the second man, behind Carl Lewis (1984, 1988), to defend and win two consecutive gold medals in the 100 meters. Finishing the race in an Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds, Bolt brought his usual charisma and showmanship. Bolt’s grandstanding and trademark lightning bolt have brought an unprecedented level of excitement and profile to the sport of athletics. As well as increasing the public’s interest in sport, Bolt’s antics have helped to increase the awareness of sport and physical activity worldwide. This can only be a good thing.
Jamaican Yohan Blake ran second to Bolt in a personal best time of 9.75 seconds to collect the silver medal. Known as ‘the beast’, Blake has been quoted as saying “When my coach gives me a programme I damage it”. The rivary between Bolt and Blake will continue in the 200 meter sprint final tomorrow. Both sprinters qualified first in their heats despite slowing to a jog in the late stages of their races.
As for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Bolt was reported by the UK’s Telegraph as saying “I’ll be 30 but I hope I’ll be there. This gold means I am one step closer to being a legend so I’m working toward that. That’s just one step, I have the 200m to go so I’m looking forward to that”.