RIO DE JANEIRO – Usain Bolt stormed past his rivals to claim a historic third straight Olympic 100 metres title and declared himself confident of becoming an “immortal” by the end of the Rio Games.
Hot on the heels of a sensational 400m world record by South African Wayde van Niekerk, the Jamaican surged past American rival Justin Gatlin to take the most prized Olympic gold in 9.81sec .
With one title in the bag, Bolt celebrated and turned his attention to completing the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold medal sweep at three consecutive Olympics .
“Somebody said I can become immortal. Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal,” said Bolt who has said this will be his last Olympics .
Bolt said he had been “shocked” at booing directed at Gatlin, who has twiced been banned for doping, but insisted he had focused on the victory that left him out alone in the 120-year history of Olympic sprinting Track massacre. Although way short of his 9.58sec world record, Bolt was happy with the performance.
He started slowly but reeled in the fast-starting Gatlin within 70 metres and eased up, thumping his chest as he crossed the line. Canada’s Andre de Grasse took bronze “It was brilliant. I didn’t go so fast but I’m so happy I won,” he said.
Minutes earlier, van Niekerk timed a lightning 43.03sec in the 400m, breaking American Michael Johnson’s 17-year-old record.