Lightning Bolt completes historic 'double double' as Jamaicans claim clean sweep


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The Independent Online

Usain Bolt did it again last night and brought delight to the 80,000 spectators who had a golden ticket to watch the Jamaican continue blazing his history-making trail.

The sensational athlete stormed to victory in the 200m final, completing a historic double with the 100m title he secured on Sunday .

When he scored his first Olympic double in Beijing in 2008, Bolt took the 200m event in an Olympic record of 19.3 seconds and last night it was 19.32. His double double is also a world record.

"It's what I wanted and I got it," he said. "I'm very proud of myself. I've had a rough season but we've been working hard all season, pushed each other hard all season and we're very happy."

He led a Jamaican clean sweep of the final, with 100m silver medallist Yohan Blake and Warren Weir in silver and bronze position.

After crossing the line first to thunderous cheers, Bolt gave his customary arms-outstretched, lightning-bolt pose, before milking applause from spectators on his victory parade.

On the hill overlooking the giant TV screens where day-pass-holders can watch events were fans who had travelled far to see their hero. Jeff McCormack, Monica Lallo and Le Van Tay had all flown in from Manchester, Jamaica, near Bolt's birthplace, to see the action.

"We just wanted to be in London to see it happen," said Mr McCormack. "We had to be here."

Why did they think Jamaica is so dominant in sprinting?

"It's home-grown talent," said Miss Van Tay, a budding recording artist who divides her time between Jamaica and the United States.

"Every one of our gold medallists over the past two Olympics have been trained in Jamaica. They didn't go to an American college, they stayed home and focused on their game. What people don't know is we have the best coaches in the world. We don't have the best equipment or the best money, but we've got the hunger and the drive."

"And we've got the love," said Miss Lallo. "The love of our sport, the love of our people and the love of being champions."

Even in the heaving den of partisan British support that is the Olympic Stadium, the gold, green and black flags last night outnumbered Union Jacks. This was Jamaica's night and the devotees of the two fastest men in the world had come to show it.

Jorell Blake, 34, might have shared his surname with Usain Bolt's training partner and principal rival, Yohan Blake, but like almost everyone packed into the arena for last night's 200m final, he had come to see only one individual - the man who was to become winner. Again.

Adopting the lightning pose that spread across the Olympic Park last night, Blake, originally from Kingston and now living in London, said: "Bolt is the man. He's the guy who everyone in the world wants a bit of. I am seriously excited to be here."

Four days after Bolt, 25, who celebrates his birthday in 11 days, stormed to victory in the 100 metres, he did the same in the 200m.

Hannah James, 62, wrapped in the telltale flag of die-hard Bolt fans said: "I spare a thought for Yohan, he's good and would beat everyone else apart from his friend. But Usain is in a class of his own right now. He looks like he's not trying that hard when everyone else is pumping hard."

Among those keenly watching last night was someone with close experience of Bolt's talents, having presented him on Monday night with his prize from the 100m.

Alex Donaldson, 22, a volunteer chosen as a medal bearer, said: "It was incredible to give Bolt his gold medal. He's a brilliant character with loads of charisma."