Usain Bolt bids farewell to Olympics with historic victory

Ross Houston
August 30, 2016

The world's fastest man led the Jamaican team to a spectacular victory in the 4x100m men's relay, storming over the line in 37.27 seconds to an explosion of cheers from the crowd.

Fittingly, Bolt streaked clear of his rivals down the home straight to secure his ninth Olympic title and third of this Games, with Japan claiming a shock silver and Canada promoted to bronze when the original third-placed finishers, the United States, were disqualified.

The USA team were told it was because Gatlin received the baton too early from Rodgers in the first handover, but they are now appealing against the decision.

The fastest man in the world broke another record tonight and became the first sprinter to complete a "triple-triple": three gold medals in three consecutive Olympics.

Bolt, who turns 30 on Sunday, won his seventh, eighth and ninth gold medals in Rio.

With nine gold medals he joins a group comprising Soviet gymnastics great Larisa Latynina, Finnish long-distance supremo Paavo Nurmi and Americans Mark Spitz and Carl Lewis, who for a time reigned supreme in the pool and on the track, respectively.

After crossing the line, Bolt, draped in his national flag, went on a lap of honour, sharing the historic moment with jovial fans.

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Johnson: "This was an incredible race".

So astounding was Bolt's latest achievement that it overshadowed the performance of the Japanese team who picked up an unexpected silver medal with a time of 37.60. He's just a great athlete.

Felix had been bumped in the preliminary heats and lost the baton, but the US team protested and got a second chance — a solo re-run that allowed them to qualify on times.

"Just to be here, to see history being made, I can't tell you how that feels".

Bolt took a couple throws of the javelin, the last one going about 50 metres. "My agent just said that's it for the season, so I guess that's it".

Usain Bolt won all three events at the previous two Olympic Games, in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012.

"I was just watching them and praying that they didn't mess up", said Bolt, about the Jamaican teammates during the relay.

With two days to go, the US track and field team has 27 medals, including 10 gold. Ashmeade, meanwhile, now has an Olympic gold to accompany the World Championship titles he helped Jamaica to in 2013 and 2015.

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