Usain Bolt, photo by PhotoRun.net
Usain Bolt defended his title and cemented his legacy, with his third 100 meters Olympic title. The race was exciting as we had a fun race to watch as Bolt came from behind to totally dominate the race. Here is how I saw the race!
Usain Bolt, defending his 2012 title, wins 2016, making it three Olympic 100m titles!
For the third time in a row, Usain Bolt has won the Olympic 100 meter title. And what a race, worthy of the Olympic venue! As the runners came to their marks, the crowd was quiet. The starter’s gun went off, and Trayvon Bromell got out well, but Justin Gatlin flew by him and was leading. Usain Bolt needs about forty meters to unwind that tall frame and unwind he did, going by Justin Gatlin as if he were standing still, taking the title in 9.81. Justin Gatlin, who has been quiet this summer, ran 9.89 and took the silver medal. In third, is our Canadian friend, Andre De Grasse, who has run two pubs today; 9.92 in the semi-final, and a fine 9.91 in the final, to take the bronze. 2012 Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake was fourth, in 9.93, his seasonal best. Amani Simbini, RSA, was fifth in 9.94. Ben Youssef Meite, CIV, ran 9.96, for his second NR of the day! Jimmy Vicaut, FRA, and European 100m record holder, was seventh in 10.04 and Trayvon Bromell was eighth in 10.06.
Usain had an average start (which would be abysmal for anyone else). He went to the lead about fifty meters, and the race was won by 80 meters, and with ten meters to go, he showed his celebratory moves! Pumping those arms, and lifting those knees, Usain Bolt does not run down the track, he dominates the track, so it does his bidding.
It was after 2007 in Osaka when Usain Bolt began to seriously train. He did not like it that Tyson Gay had come from behind and beat him in the 200 meters in Osaka. One year later, he sets a WR for the 100 meters in NYC, after thunderstorms and delays. In Beijing, Usain Bolt won and set WRs in the 100m and 200m, and anchored the 4x100m. In 2012, after World Champs at the 2009 Berlin and 2011 Daegu, Usain Bolt again won the 100m and 200m and won the relay. It was not that he made it look easy, as he does not. He made it look exciting. The 100 meters and 200 meters, with Usain Bolt in them show a guy who is battling the best in the world, and is making his supreme effort to win, with the fans cheering for him. There is a symbiotic relationship between Usain Bolt and track fans, much like, in the US, there was a relationship in Eugene, Oregon with the late Steve Prefontaine and his fans. Such things happen rarely, and we have been fortunate to see it!
Justin Gatlin has had a relatively quiet season. His wins at the U.S. Olympic Trials showed his fitness but not his overwhelming season of 2015, or 2014. In the Olympic 100m final, Justin Gatlin had a good start, was even with Trayvon Bromell at about 40 meters and started to move ahead, until Usain Bolt unwrapped his second and third gears. After 80 meters, all were running for second and third. Andre De Grasse took the bronze medal, with a PB of 9.91 which was his second PB of the day.
Yohan Blake ran pretty good, but, after two years of injuries, Blake is just getting really fit. He looked okay in the semi-final, and perhaps the 37 hours instead of 48 hours for the 100 meter races was just too much for Blake. He was close, but, no proverbial cigar on Sunday night.
Usain Bolt ran a fantastic race for his third Olympic title. His enjoyment of the entire experience is obvious. After his interviews with the the TV networks, Usain spent more time with his fans. It was nice to see Usain Bolt congratulate Wayde Van Niekerk on his new World record.
His 2016 story is not finished, but his race tonight, his third win at 100 meters, has to mark Usain Bolt as one of the greatest, if not the greatest sprinter in Olympic history.
Larry Eder has had a 50-year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher, and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub-4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Athletics to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts, and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."
Theme song: Greg Allman, " I'm no Angel."
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