The triple triple is still on.
The remarkable Usain Bolt cruised to victory in 19.78 seconds to win the 200m final here on Thursday night in the Olympic Stadium to add to his glittering golden collection. These Games – and it does all seem like a game to the lightning Jamaican - are once again his on the track just as Beijing and London were.
Bolt, who turns 30 on Sunday, now needs only to add the 4x100m relay on Friday to complete his third hat-trick following 100m, 200m and relay glory in 2008 and 2012.
He had said beforehand that he was aiming to break his own world record - 19.19sec set at the 2009 Berlin World Championships - and even dip under the 19sec mark. That was not to be - but the result was never in doubt.
His emergence generated the biggest cheer of the night, he saluted the crowd, gave the victory sign, a thumbs up to someone in the crowd. Then Bolt led from the gun and never looked back, his red shoes and yellow shirt a blur. It was clear the race was his from 50m – none of the coming behind he reserves for the 100m.
He crossed the line with a dip of the chest a country mile (in 200m terms) ahead of the rest. He then slapped his thighs in celebration, went down on his knees to give thanks, got up and wrapped himself in a Jamaican flag before indulging in his lap of honour while singing along to Bob Marley on the stadium speakers.
Christophe Lemaitre of France was third and Andre De Grasse, the 100m bronze medallist, came home second in 20.02. The Canadian had had the temerity to push Bolt to the line in Wednesday night’s semi-final. Then, Bolt had checked his wing mirror, chuckled at his new rival and sped away to finish in 19.78sec. They had seemed to be all friends at the end.
But Bolt described De Grasse’s attempt to overtake as “not cool” in a TV interview after the race. He also had a word with the upstart at the end. “How dare you? You know who I am, don’t you? You know how this works? I win is how it works,” he might as well have said. He certainly does.
In other action on the track, Great Britain’s Lynsey Sharp finished second in her 800m semi-final with a time of 1.58.65 to qualify for Sunday’s final. South Africa’s Caster Semenya won the race with plenty to spare and GB’s Charlie Grice finished fifth in his 1500m semi-final to reach Saturday’s showpiece.
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