DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA // Six days and a slow start later, Usain Bolt finally won gold at the World Championships, running the fourth-fastest 200 metres in history to back up his showmanship with a stunning performance Saturday.
After he was disqualified for a false start the 100m final last Sunday, Bolt was slowest out of the blocks before driving through the bend and powering to the line in 19.40 seconds, just .21 secs off the world record he set to win his first world title two years ago.
Knowing he had something to prove, there was no braggadocio during the race.
Instead, he gritted his teeth in utter effort over the last 20 metres before dipping across the line for the best time in two years.
"I am still the best," Bolt told an elated crowd of about 45,000 at Daegu Stadium before starting a barefoot dance to a deafening beat. "It was beautiful."
Walter Dix of the United States won his second sprint silver in 19.70 and Christophe Lemaitre of France earned bronze in a French record of 19.80.
Bolt was a defending champion coming through on a night of two big upsets at the worlds.
In the high jump, Anna Chicherova of Russia beat two-time defending champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia, and Matthias De Zordo of Germany overcame favourite Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway to win the men's javelin.
Before Bolt took to the track, Sally Pearson ran the fastest 100m hurdles race in almost two decades to win gold.
Pearson's time of 12.28 seconds was the fastest since 1992 and moved her up to fourth in the all-time list of performers.
Yet, as so often when Bolt is in the stadium, there is nothing to match the Jamaican.
Before his race, he was fist-bumping with the volunteer who carried his belongings, practised his "Lightning Bolt" move and shushed the crowd with a finger in front of his lips before he sank into the blocks.
There was going to be no shock disqualification again - with a reaction time of .193 seconds, he was the slowest out of the blocks.
But from there on, everything went like a whirlwind.
Dix was running in Lane Four just ahead of him and surprisingly held off Bolt for much of the bend.
But from there onward, it was a foregone conclusion as Bolt put the power on, fully got his knees rolling and left the others standing.
"Lane Three was a bit tight for me. I always wish to run in an outside lane," he said. "I didn't run a perfect corner. If I'd run a good corner I could have come in the straight and done much better.
"But I'm happy."