Usain Bolt made history last night when the Jamaican successfully defended his Olympic 200 metres crown to claim an unprecedented second successive sprint double.
Usain Bolt doubles his treasure at the Games
Usain Bolt made history Thursday night when the Jamaican successfully defended his Olympic 200 metres crown to claim an unprecedented second successive sprint double.
Bolt, who retained his 100m title this past Saturday, crossed the line in 19.32 seconds to win ahead of his compatriots Yohan Blake and Warren Weir to complete a Jamaican clean sweep in front of a sell-out 80,000 crowd at the Olympic Stadium.
The 25 year old's victory meant he bettered the record of US track legend Carl Lewis, who won three golds and a silver in the sprints at the 1984 and 1988 Games in Los Angeles and Seoul respectively.
It was also the first time two individual track titles were successfully defended at successive Games since Finland's Lasse Viren won the 5000m and 10,000m in the Munich and Montreal Games in 1972 and 1976.
Bolt told the BBC: "This is what I wanted and I got it. I'm very proud of myself. After a rough season I came out here and did it. I thought the world record was possible. I guess I was fast but not fit enough.
"I could feel my back strain a little bit, so all I did was to keep my form. I'm very dedicated to my work and London meant so much to me."
Running in lane seven, Bolt was up on Weir outside him within five paces after an explosive start.
As he rounded the bend, Blake briefly threatened from lane four but, teeth clenched and at full tilt, Bolt had enough to slow down a full 10 metres from the line, raising his finger to his lips as he did so.
Blake clocked 19.44 to take silver, with Weir setting a personal best of 19.84 to take bronze.
A jubilant Bolt celebrated initially after crossing the line by doing some press ups on the track before hugging Blake and performing his popular lightning bolt pose to the jubilant crowd.
The celebrations continued as he went to the stands to be congratulated by fans, before taking a camera from a photographer and taking shots of the stadium.
Weir said of his bronze: "It's a great honour to come here to do that and give people what they wanted."
Meanwhile, Bolt will not have to make up his mind as to whether he will run the 4x400m relay after his Jamaican teammates failed to finish their Olympic heat yesterday.
Bolt had indicated he would run in the relay final if he was asked to, depending on how he felt after the 200m and the 4x100m relay.
But Jermaine Gonzalez pulled up lame halfway around the third leg in Thursday's 4x400m, meaning Jamaica are out of the event.
After Lewis's three sprint golds in 1984 he had to make do with silver in the 200m in 1988, but was handed the 100m gold after the Canadian Ben Johnson was disqualified for doping after he crossed the line first.
Bolt will not have too long to bask in his latest success with the first round of the 4x100m relay today.
Bolt was expected to be rested by the Jamaicans and saved for Saturday's final, but the hamstring injury that has ruled Asafa Powell out of the team may force either Blake or Bolt to be used to guarantee a place in the final.
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