Brilliant Bolt Scorches To 100m gold
LONDON (Reuters) - Jamaican Usain Bolt retained his Olympic 100 meters crown in spectacular style on Sunday, scorching to the second-fastest time ever run at 9.63 seconds and becoming the first man to win back-to-back titles on the track.
Bolt's 9.58-second run to win the 2009 world title is the quicker run and Sunday's brilliant display proved he had completely recovered from the hamstring problems that had given a sliver of hope to his rivals in the build-up to one of the most eagerly-anticipated races in history.
Blake's time equalled his personal best and Gatlin beat his.Tyson Gay finished fourth in a season's best 9.80 seconds with fellow American Ryan Bailey fifth in an equal PB of 9.88.
But it was all about Bolt who said repeatedly that he needed back-to-back titles to cement his place among the sport greats.
Carl Lewis is the only other man to win two Olympic 100m titles and the American's second gold came only afterBen Johnson was disqualified for doping.
Bolt was slow out of the blocks on Sunday and trailed Blake, who beat him in the Jamaican trials, and Gatlin, back in the mix after serving a doping ban.
However, his massive stride reeled them in and he roared through the line, barely easing his speed as he tore round the bend to soak up the adulation of the delirious crowd.
"When I went out in the first run, I felt 'I can do this,' Bolt told theBBC in reference to his opening heat on Saturday.
"I was slightly worried about my start, I didn't want to false start again. So I think I sat in the blocks a little bit, I don't think it was the best reaction in the world, but I executed and that was the key.
"Remember I told you my coach said 'stop worrying about your start', the best of your race is at the end, that's where you rule. So I stopped worrying about the start and I executed, so it worked."
Bolt, who was disqualified from last year's world championship final for a false start, will now bid to complete an unprecedented double-double by retaining his 200 meters title and will also seek a sixth sprint gold in the 4x100 meters relay.
"Usain knows what it takes, he is a world beater and he is the fastest man in the world," said Blake. "But I got a medal in my first Olympic games and a lot of that is down to Usain and our coach."
Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also retained her women's title to give her country a flying start in their sprint showdown with the United States.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)