article by Sean Gregory via time.com
On a pleasant Sunday night in Rio’s Olympic Stadium, Usain Bolt, the fastest human in history, became the first to ever win the 100-m sprint in three straight Olympic Games, finishing with a time of 9.81. Justin Gatlin of the United States, the 2004 Olympic champion, took an early lead but fell just short of completing his late-career comeback with another Olympic gold, taking silver with a time of 9.89. Canada’s Andre de Grasse won bronze in 9.91.
Even though he’s run the fastest 100-m in history––9.58 seconds, at the 2009 world championships––Bolt insists this is his weakest event. He has a funny way of showing it. “This is what I came here for,” Bolt said after the race. “This is the first step in the right direction. I’m happy and I’m proud of myself. It wasn’t perfect execution, but I got it done.”
The 100M, known as the fastest ten seconds in sports, was relatively slow by Bolt’s lofty standards. In 2012, the American Tyson Gay ran 9.80 and only managed to finish fourth. Bolt blamed the times on the quicker than usual turnaround, less than 90 minutes, between the semifinals and finals. “It was really stupid,” Bolt says. “I don’t know who decided that. I was really stupid.”
Whatever the pace, Bolt luxuriated in his victory. Fans screamed for him before the race. During his warmup, while his opponents were lingering at the starting line, Bolt jogged out about 30 meters down the track, turned around and held his arms up, soaking in the adulation as if he were royalty. He shimmied for the cameras, pointed, tried his best to be a showman. The act works.
When the starting gun blasted, Bolt knew he was off his game. “I kind of felt dead at the start,” he said. Gatlin took an early lead, but Bolt never panicked and passed him shortly after the halfway mark. The win in hand, Bolt pounded his chest before the finish. He grabbed a stuffed Olympic mascot afterward and paraded it around the stadium, mugging for selfies with adoring fans. As is his tradition, he hammed it up on the track with his “lighting-bolt” poses.
Bolt has always performed best on the biggest stages. And none are bigger than the Olympics, where he’s now won 7 straight golds, in 7 races, over three Games. He’ll shoot to go an incredible nine-for-nine later in the week, with the 200-m final Thursday night, and the 4 X 100 relay on Friday. “I really want the 200-m world record,” says Bolt, who set the mark, 19.19 seconds, at that same 2009 world championship meet. “If I can get a good night’s rest after the semifinals, it’s possible that I could. I’m going to go out there and leave it all on the track.”
To read full article, go to: http://time.com/4451806/usain-bolt-gold-rio-2016-olympics-100-meters-gatlin-blake/