April 21, 2021

Rio Olympics 2016: Usain Bolt wins 100m gold, Justin Gatlin second, Andre de Grasse bronze

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Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 10.14.28 PMFrom BBC

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt became the first athlete to win three Olympic 100m titles by beating American Justin Gatlin to gold at Rio 2016.

Bolt, 29, ran 9.81 seconds in his final Olympics to replicate his success at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

Gatlin, twice banned for doping offences, finished 0.08 seconds behind Bolt to take silver.

“I expected to go faster, but I’m happy that I won,” Bolt told BBC Sport. “I’m here to perform. I did what I had to.”

Canada’s Andre de Grasse took bronze in a personal best of 9.91, ahead of Bolt’s Jamaican team-mate Yohan Blake.

Bolt remains on target to leave Rio with a third successive Olympic treble after winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay titles in 2008 and 2012.

The world record holder said in February he would retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships.

“Somebody said I can become immortal. Two more medals to go and I can sign off immortal,” he said.

Bolt was slower out of the blocks than 34-year-old Gatlin, who was aiming to regain the title he won at Athens 2004.

But he surged through from 60 metres to pass Gatlin and comfortably win his seventh Olympic gold.

Bolt received a hero’s reception as he walked out into Rio’s Olympic Stadium before the race, and the crowd chanted his name after his victory.

“It wasn’t about the time, it was just about winning the gold and going out on top,” said Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic champion and BBC Sport analyst.

Booed Gatlin comes up short again

Gatlin is a divisive figure in the sport having twice been banned for doping offences and, in stark contrast to Bolt’s reception, walked out to the start line to a chorus of boos.

Bolt admitted afterwards he was “surprised” by the crowd’s reaction.

Gatlin’s first drugs ban in 2001 was reduced from two years to one after he proved the amphetamines he was taking were for an attention deficit disorder.

He then tested positive for testosterone in 2006, a year after winning the 100m and 200m double at the World Championships.

The American served a four-year ban that was twice reduced, first from a lifetime then to eight years.

Gatlin returned to the track in 2010, claiming Olympic bronze at London 2012 and losing to Bolt in the 2015 World Championships.

He was the clear favourite to win in Beijing last year, and many thought he could beat Bolt in Rio.

Gatlin had recorded the fastest time of the year, clocking 9.80 last month, while Bolt injured a hamstring at the end of June.

However, Bolt showed an expectant Rio crowd he was in great shape by clocking a season’s best 9.86 as he cantered to victory in his semi-final.

And the sport’s greatest showman produced an even better run when it really mattered to send the Olympic Stadium into raptures.

“After the semi-final I felt extremely good,” Bolt added.

“I wanted to run faster but with the turnaround time, we normally have two hours, but we had one hour 20 minutes, it was challenging.

“This is what we train for. I told you guys I was going to do it. Stay tuned, two more to go.”

Analysis

Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medallist:

“That was a fantastic performance by Usain Bolt, he slowed down and said ‘I’ve got this’.

“I didn’t expect the race to unfold the way it did. Gatlin got a great start but it was always within Usain Bolt’s reach.

“Gatlin knew that this was not going to happen. He was never going to be able to beat a healthy Usain Bolt.

“He has been an amazing ambassador for this sport and in creating a brand for himself and the Jamaican athletes.”

“He still looks like he really enjoys this. This is what he does. He gathers titles like daisies in a field.

“Our sport has a lot of critics and it’s going through dark times but we should not forget that this is what can be done. This is what can be achieved.

“He is almost God-like.”

For more on this story and video go to: http://www.bbc.com/sport/olympics/36689475

Related story:

Andre De Grasse wins bronze, Usain Bolt gold in 100m at worlds

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 10.21.08 PMCanadian sprint sensation finishes in tie for 3rd at first world championships

By Jesse Campigotto, CBC Sports Posted: Aug 23, 2015 9:24 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 23, 2015 2:33 PM ET

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse continued his meteoric rise by winning a surprising bronze medal in the men’s 100 metres Sunday in Beijing, while Usain Bolt claimed another world title and vanquished rival Justin Gatlin.

Bolt ran 9.79 seconds to edge Gatlin (9.80), who many believed would unseat Bolt as the world champion after the Jamaican star struggled for much of the season while the American ran the world’s best times.

That storyline persisted right up until just two hours before this final, as Bolt stumbled to a 9.96 in the semifinals, matching De Grasse atop the heat, while Gatlin blazed to a 9.77.

But, as usual, the two-time and reigning Olympic 100m champ saved his best race of the season for when it mattered most, winning his third 100m world title and second in a row.

“A lot of people counted me out. So for me to come and win, this is a big deal,” Bolt, 29, said after his latest triumph at the Bird’s Nest stadium where he became a star by dominating the sprint events at the 2008 Olympics.

De Grasse, only 20 years old and competing in his first world championships, shared the bronze with American Trayvon Bromell in a photo finish that saw both men run 9.92, a personal best for the Canadian.

It’s Canada’s first medal in the 100 at worlds since Bruny Surin’s silver in 1999 in Seville.

“I didn’t know you could actually tie for a bronze medal, so I didn’t know if they were going to give it to Bromell or me,” De Grasse said. “I’m really happy for him, and I’m proud of myself. To race against these guys and make the final, I couldn’t end the season any better than that.”

Despite drawing the disadvantageous Lane 9 for the nine-man final, De Grasse said he was emboldened after matching Bolt in the semis.

“I had a lot of confidence after the semifinals, seeing myself that close to Bolt, that boosted my confidence a lot for the finals,” De Grasse said. “My coach [Caryl Smith-Gilbert] told me ‘This is your chance right now to go get a medal, and just go with them.’ I’ll go with them, they’ll take me with them.”
‘Future looks bright’ for De Grasse

A slightly built native of Markham, Ont., just outside Toronto, De Grasse has emerged this season as one of the brightest young stars on the international sprinting scene. He won the 100m and 200m titles at the NCAA (U.S. collegiate) championships, and followed with gold in those events at the Pan Am Games last month in Toronto, where he set the national 200 record.

“The future looks bright,” De Grasse said. “Next year I can’t wait to see what kind of training I’m going to do, and I can only get stronger from here. It’s only my third year in track and to be on the podium with these guys, it’s incredible right now.”

De Grasse will not run the 200 in Beijing, but he’s expected to compete with the Canadian 4×100 relay team. That event gets underway with the heats on Saturday at 12:20 a.m. ET. The final goes later that day at 9:10 a.m. ET.

Earlier Sunday, Brianne Theisen-Eaton won a silver medal in the women’s heptathlon and Ben Thorne got bronze in the men’s race walk, giving Canada a three-medal haul on Day 2 of competition.

That’s more than half of Canada’s five-medal total from the last track and field world championships, held in 2013 in Moscow.

For more on this story and video go to: http://www.cbc.ca/sports/olympics/summer/trackandfield/andre-de-grasse-wins-bronze-usain-bolt-gold-in-100m-at-worlds-1.3200801

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