'I am one step closer to being a legend', says Usain Bolt after 100 metres victory

 

Usain Bolt refuses to believe he has achieved the legendary status he craves despite proving the doubters wrong to retain his Olympic 100m title in London.

Bolt set an Olympic record of 9.63 seconds, the second fastest time in history behind his own world record of 9.58secs, to leave reigning world champion and training partner Yohan Blake to take silver in 9.75s and 2004 champion Justin Gatlin the bronze in 9.79.

"This gold means I am one step closer to being a legend so I'm working toward that," Bolt said. "That's just one step, I have the 200m to go so I can't celebrate."

The heats of the 200m start tomorrow morning, leaving Bolt precious little time to reflect on the comparison between his triumph here and that in Beijing four years ago.

Asked if it was sweeter for coming as Jamaica celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence, the 25-year-old said: "The reason it's sweeter is because a lot of guys doubted me so I had to show the world I am the greatest."

Those doubts surfaced after Bolt lost twice to Blake at the Olympic trials and subsequently underwent treatment for a stiff back which was causing hamstring problems.

"It means a lot because there were a lot of people doubting me, it was great to come out and show I am still number one, I am still the best," added Bolt, who revealed he had revived his Beijing "diet" of chicken nuggets and even the odd chicken wrap - 'It had vegetables too, don't judge me' he joked - from a certain Olympic sponsor.

"I've said it from the start, people can talk, all they can do is talk. I tell you people that when it comes to the championships it's all about business to me and I brought it.

"The trials woke me up. Yohan gave me a wake-up call. He knocked on my door and said 'Usain, this is an Olympic year, wake up', so I am grateful for that moment because after that I got my head together, got my head in the game."

Bolt praised the atmosphere inside the Olympic Stadium and said he was unaware of an incident before the start of the race when a bottle was seemingly thrown out of the crowd and onto the track.

"No, I keep hearing that," he said. "I don't know who would have done that. The atmosphere was wonderful. I knew it was going to be like this. There wasn't a doubt in my mind that it was going to be loud and it was going to be great and you can feel that energy."

Blake was gracious in defeat, the 22-year-old - nicknamed 'the beast' by Bolt due to his intense training - adding: "He is the fastest man in the world and I've got a silver medal. What more can I ask for?

"To be the second-fastest man in the world behind Bolt is an honour."

PA

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