Usain Bolt wrote another chapter of improbable Olympic history with a third consecutive 200m crown on Thursday (Aug 18) as Ashton Eaton led an American gold rush by clinching back-to-back decathlon titles.
Bolt, who just days earlier had become the first man in history to win three 100m titles in a row, surged to victory in the 200m in 19.78s at the Olympic Stadium.
Canada’s Andre De Grasse took silver in 20.02sec, just ahead of France’s Christophe Lemaitre, who nicked bronze in 20.12.
Bolt’s triumph was greeted with rapturous applause by Brazilian fans who roared their appreciation as the sprint superstar set off on a lap of honour, with Bob Marley booming from stadium speakers.
The win left the 29-year-old Bolt just one win away from his targeted “triple triple” — a repeat of his sweep of 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds at the 2008 and 2012 Games.
“No, I can’t grasp what I’ve achieved, definitely not,” said Bolt. “You work so hard for years and then you just hope it pays off. It is a brilliant feeling.
“I’m getting older and my body is ageing. Personally I think this is my last 200 but my coach may beg to differ.”
Bolt will attempt to put the seal on what he says is his final Olympics in Friday’s 4×100 relay.