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9.63 seconds... Legend Bolt retains 100m crown after stunning victory over rival Blake sees him shatter his OWN Olympic record

Written By Koka Albert on Monday, August 6, 2012 | 5:57 AM

Fittingly, it was the weekend that celebrated 50 years of Jamaican independence. Here were just 9.63 blistering seconds of it. At the end of the shortest Olympic race in history, two men were quite noticeably independent and away from the rest of the field. There was daylight between Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, but clear air again between Blake and the chasing pack.

The Jamaicans — friends, training partners at the Racers Club in Kingston, now the fiercest rivals on the track — were out on their own. When it came down to it, however, one Jamaican was simply more independent than the other.

Bolt did it again. He did it as he said he would. As predicted, this was his time. Bolt became the first athlete this century to retain his Olympic 100 metres title, the first since Carl Lewis in 1988. Nobody stays the fastest man in the world for long and there were many who thought Bolt would repeat the brief flickering of many past champions. They were wrong, so very wrong.
*SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH VIDEO OF USAIN BOLT'S VICTORY IN THE 100 FINAL
Simply the best: Usain Bolt crosses the finishing line to win gold in the men's 100 metres final
Simply the best: Usain Bolt crosses the finishing line to win gold in the men's 100 metres final

100m... The final


Having given the field, even the brilliant Blake, a head start, he then accelerated. It was as if Batman had flicked the switch on the Batmobile, the one that sends the machine into warp speed. We almost expected to see an ignition of white-hot flame at Bolt’s tail.

And that is what Bolt is, in essence. A  latter-day superhero. He draped the  Jamaican flag around his shoulders like a Caped Crusader, too, and mimed firing his arrow as if an Olympian of old. He is old, Bolt, yet so very new.

His talent is one of the purest skills of all: the ability to run faster than any other man. But his manner is modern. He knows his place in sport’s galaxy, his status, and what it represents. At the pinnacle stands the heavyweight boxing champion and the world’s fastest man; except Bolt has more personality in his discarded woolly hat than the Klitschko brothers have in a lifetime of  perfect punishing victories. If Bolt were a boxer, even Muhammad Ali’s Greatest status might have been under threat.
He is charismatic, mesmerising. Once he entered the track nobody could take their eyes from him; and then when he started running, blink, and he was gone.

At the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton, Bolt as Batman was further emphasised. Jamaica Day celebrations in the area had segued jubilantly into the main event of the night. On the big screen, The Dark Knight Rises gave way to Bolt and a free showing of the BBC Olympics coverage played to an audience comprising the nearest thing a Jamaican athlete could get to a partisan crowd, so far from his island.

Not that he could have heard them as he sped into history. Not that any athlete could hear much above the cacophony of the  Olympic Stadium. After Britain’s Super  Saturday, this was tagged Supersonic  Sunday, as if any further showbiz hype was required. The fastest men in the world know they are the players of the Olympic meeting without further encouragement. They preen, they strut, they perform for the  cameras, and that is just in the heats.

Dip for the line: Bolt finishes ahead of Yohan Blake (second right) and Justin Gatlin (third right) to win the Olympic gold medal
Dip for the line: Bolt finishes ahead of Yohan Blake (second right) and Justin Gatlin (third right) to win the Olympic gold medal


Lightning Bolt: The Jamaican set a new Olympic record after winning the 100m in a time of 9.63 seconds
Lightning Bolt: The Jamaican set a new Olympic record after winning the 100m in a time of 9.63 seconds
Making his point: Bolt celebrates after crossing the finishing line in first in the 100m final at the London Olympic Games
Making his point: Bolt celebrates after crossing the finishing line in first in the 100m final at the London Olympic Games
History boy: Bolt bathes in the glory of his brilliant victory in London's Olympic Stadium
History boy: Bolt bathes in the glory of his brilliant victory in London's Olympic Stadium

The finalists: (from left) Churandy Martina, Ryan Bailey, Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin, Yohan Blake, Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Richard Thompson
The finalists: (from left) Churandy Martina, Ryan Bailey, Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin, Yohan Blake, Tyson Gay, Asafa Powell and Richard Thompson

Close call: Bolt did not run away with the race as he had done four years ago in Beijing, with Blake, Gatlin and Gay all running super quick times
Close call: Bolt did not run away with the race as he had done four years ago in Beijing, with Blake, Gatlin and Gay all running super quick times
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