Rio2016: Usain Bolt caps Olympic career with perfect ninth gold medal

Usain Bolt caps Olympic career with perfect ninth gold medal

Bolt crossing the finish line as he manages to secure the ninth Olympic gold medal of his stunning career on Friday. (Reuters)Photo: Bolt crossing the finish line as he manages to secure the ninth Olympic gold medal of his stunning career on Friday. (Reuters)

(Yahoo) RIO DE JANEIRO — It ended like it was supposed to, with another gold medal, another breathtaking run, another reminder that Usain Bolt isn’t just the fastest man ever but one capable of summoning his otherworldly skill at the most appropriate time. There are great athletes, and there are great competitors, and there are the rarest breeds, of which Bolt is one, who manages to marry the two. They’re the ones that make history.  

And so it went Friday night at the Rio Games, where Bolt left his final imprint on the Olympics in typical fashion. The 4×100-meter relay went off at 10:43 p.m. local time, and 37.27 seconds later, he crossed the finish line to propel Jamaica to its third consecutive gold in the race. Bolt anchored all three, and with his gold medals in the 100- and 200-meter dashes this week, he hit his beloved triple-triple: three golds in three consecutive Olympics.

Nine gold medals. It is staggering for a sprinter, but then Bolt isn’t just a sprinter. He’s a force of nature, arguably the greatest Olympian of all time, and with Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade, he locked down his nine-for-nine run ahead of silver medalist Japan, which ran a 37.60. The United States team ran a 37.62 but was disqualified, leaving Canada with the bronze in 37.64 seconds.

The Jamaican won the 100m and 200m events at Rio prior to victory in the relay event with his Jamaica team-mates. (Getty Images)

The Jamaican won the 100m and 200m events at Rio prior to victory in the relay event with his Jamaica team-mates. (Getty Images)

“I just really want this one to make it nine because I like them in threes,” Bolt said Thursday night after he won the 200, and as much as he’s fond of prime numbers, what he really wanted was back-to-back-to-back perfect Olympics. His one stumble at the Games came when he was 17, raw as an oyster, and didn’t get out of qualifying.

Once he started to take his training seriously, Bolt grew into something beyond his wildest expectations: holder of multiple world records, master of his domain and winner of medal after Olympic gold medal. He said he will not run in 2020 during the Tokyo Games, that he has achieved all he can.

“I’ve put the sport on a different level,” Bolt said. “I’ve put it on a pedestal.”
If this really was the end, the final Olympic race for Usain Bolt, he leaves behind an unparalleled three-Games run as well as an enormous vacuum. Bolt likes to say, “The only thing that matters is the gold medal,” but he knows that isn’t true. Sometimes it matters how you win it, and on Friday night, he did it in a fashion as spectacular as ever.

Usain Bolt caps Olympic career with perfect ninth gold medal

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Comments

  • NDTewarie  On August 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

    HE BOLTED

    Last night on TV, I was watching
    Olympic Rio 2016 in the making
    A young man broke the World Record
    From out of the gates for 200 meters
    He was the fastest man alive today
    Faster than Donovan Bailey
    Even Ben Johnson? Oops! Sorry Leo
    Happy and go lucky and not a tad shy
    He was one with even our # 2 guy
    He knew one day he’d have a problem
    Someday someone going to run past him
    Can the Canadian beat the Jamaican?
    Only time which waits for no man would tell
    As of now I relish the moment
    I used to run too at our sports athletics
    Won a lot of races but got no medals
    Got a few torchlights as # one prizes
    A few high fives and back slaps
    But Yahoo! I’m still around
    As the man said, “Shhh!”
    Yes I see them all how they ran
    But last night this man1 bolted.

    1. Usain Saint Leo Bolt. Lord of the Tracks

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