The fastest man on the planet insisted afterwards he has yet to achieve the legendary status he craves, despite securing gold with a time second in history only to his own world record.
Olympics: Usain Bolt sets Olympic record with 100m triumph
Usain Bolt underlined his credentials as the fastest man on the planet after setting a new Olympic record to win the 100m title in London - but insists he has not yet achieved the legendary status he craves.
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 after his run. "That's just one step, I have the 200m to go so I can't celebrate."
He was slow out of the blocks but once his giant stride got going he was unbeatable once again, leaving Blake and 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin in his wake.
Unlike his showboating and coasting during a then world-record run at Beijing four years ago, Bolt was all business until near the finish on Sunday night, even leaning at the line. That proved how seriously he took the challenge of his younger training partner, Blake.
Bolt ran on, then knelt and leaned his head downwards, kissing the track before standing and assuming his trademark "To The World" pose – pointing both fingers in the air for the first time during the Olympics.
The crowd roared and later responded with chants of "Usain, Usain."
Blake celebrated with Bolt, the pair embracing in front of Jamaican fans in the jam-packed 80,000-seat stadium.
Afterwards the 25-year-old said the victory allowed him to prove wrong the doubters who had questioned him following the trials losses to Blake and subsequent back treatment he underwent.
"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," he said.
"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."
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."
1. Usain Bolt, Jamaica, 9.63
2. Yohan Blake, Jamaica, 9.75
3. Justin Gatlin, United States, 9.79
4. Tyson Gay, United States, 9.80
5. Ryan Bailey, United States, 9.88
6. Churandy Martina, Netherlands, 9.94
7. Richard Thompson, Trinidad & Tobago, 9.98
8. Asafa Powell, Jamaica, 11.99
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