Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Crowd roars as Bolt defends title

Usain Bolt in his trademark pose after winning the men's 100-metres final (AP/Matt Slocum)
The moment of glory for Usain Bolt in the men's 100 metres final (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Usain Bolt crosses the finish line ahead of Jamaica's Yohan Blake in the men's 100 metres final (AP/Matt Dunham)

The Olympic Stadium went into meltdown as Usain Bolt defended his title as the world's fastest man in the 100m final.

The roar from the 80,0000 capacity arena could be heard all around the Olympic Park as the Jamaican claimed his fourth gold medal with just 9.63 seconds of sprinting, beating the Olympic record he had set four years ago.

Spectators sat on the edge of their seats as the moment they had all been waiting for arrived and the fastest men on the planet went head to head.

As the 100m finalists were introduced ahead of the race, the stands in the stadium became a flurry of flashes as fans captured the moment on camera. And they saved the biggest cheer for Bolt, who made his trademark gestures to cameras to their delight.

After winning the race Bolt carried out a victory lap of the stadium with his arms outstretched as the crowd cheered and chanted "Usain".

The only other contenders for his crown had been fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, his training partner and current world 100m champion, and Tyson Gay from the US, who is only the second person after Bolt to run under 9.7 seconds. The pair came in second and fourth place respectively, with Justin Gatlin from the US taking bronze.

Among those cheering the athletes on were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who joined in a standing ovation. London Mayor Boris Johnson was also in the stadium.

Bolt's time of 9.63 seconds was the second fastest time in history and set an Olympic record. He had won gold in Beijing in 2008 with a record time of 9.69 seconds before bettering that a year later at the World Championships with a new world record of 9.58 seconds.

He also won gold medals in the 200m and 100m relay in Beijing.

Bolt's hopes of becoming a "legend" of the sport by defending his 100m titles had looked in doubt after he lost twice to Blake at the Jamaican trials and needed treatment on a stiff back which was causing hamstring problems. But his Olympics 100m title defence proved that the 25-year-old is still the best in the world.

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