Bolt smashes world record to win 100m gold

Jamaica's Usain Bolt won 100 metres gold at the Beijing Olympics in a world record time of 9.68 seconds

The 21-year-old won his country's first Olympic title in the blue riband event and capped an astonishing rise to the top of his sport.

The race was billed as a showdown with Bolt's compatriot Asafa Powell, whose world mark he bettered with a run of 9.72 in May, but Powell once again failed to deliver on the big stage, finishing in fifth.

Bolt produced a blistering finish to leave his rivals trailing and lower his own world-record mark by three hundredths of a seconds.

Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago won the silver and American Walter Dix the bronze, but no one in the race was able to get near Bolt who was even able to look left and right and slightly slow up on the 95 metre mark, beginning to celebrate as he neared the finish line.

World champion Tyson Gay failed to make the final, finishing fifth in his semi to end hopes of a showdown between the three fastest men ever.

Bolt, a 200 metres specialist who had run only one professional race in the shorter distance before this year, will now turn his attention to becoming the first man since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win the Olympic sprint double.