Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Usain Bolt sprints into history with golden double

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning the men's 200m final
Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning the men's 200m final
Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning the men's 200m final at the Olympic Stadium in London
Jamaica's Usain Bolt wins the men's 200m final at the Olympic Stadium
Paddy Barnes with Usain Bolt in background.
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa cross the finish line in the Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: (L-R)Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa and Usain Bolt of Jamaica smile afte competing in the Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: The crowd cheers as Usain Bolt of Jamaica looks on after competing in the Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt, left, in action with Great Britain's James Dasaolu, right, in a heat of the men's 100m at The Olympic Stadium, London
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 BBC has hailed 'sensational' figures as more than 20 million watched Usain Bolt win Olympic gold
Usain Bolt displays his trademark pose after his win in the men's 100m final (AP/Anja Niedringhaus)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the line to win gold in the MenÂs 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
London 100m gold medalist Usain Bolt said he was serious about the chance to trial for Manchester United
*** BESTPIX *** LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Usain Bolt of Jamaica leads Noah Akwu of Nigeria and Isiah Young of the United States in the Men's 200m Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men's 200m Round 1 Heats on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jamaica's Usain Bolt (right) wins his heat the Men's 200m Semi Final at the Olympic Stadium in London
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 08: (L-R) Aaron Brown of Canada, Isiah Young of the United States, Alex Quinonez of Ecuador, Usain Bolt of Jamaica, Aldemir Da Silva Junior of Brazil and Anaso Jobodwana of South Africa compete in the Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor with her gold medal
Katie Taylor celebrates winning her fight against Russia's Sofya Ochigava
Katie Taylor runs with an Irish flag with her gold medal after her fight with Russia's Sofya Ochigava in the ExCel Arena, London
Katie Taylor with her gold medal after her fight with Russia's Sofya Ochigava
Katie Taylor celebrates winning the gold medal
Thousands turn out to watch boxer Katie Taylor win Olympic gold on big screens in her home town of Bray, Co Wicklow
Katie Taylor celebrates winning her fight with Russia's Sofya Ochigava in London
Katie Taylor, left, boxes for gold on Thursday
Hundreds of people turn out to watch a big screen in Bray, Co. Wicklow, showing home town fighter Ireland's Katie Taylor compete against Tajikistan's Mavzuna Chorieva during their Women's Boxing Light (60kg) Semi Final bout, on the twelfth day of the London 2012 Olympics
Katie Taylor
Boxer Katie Taylor has secured her place in the London Olympics
Katie Taylor as a schoolgirl
South Africa's Oscar Pistorius in the Men's 400m Heats during day eight of the London Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium,, London
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Spectators soak up the atmopshere on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Athletes swim the first leg of the Women's Triathlon during the Triathlon on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Hyde Park on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Oscar Pistorius of South Africa competes in the Men's 400m Round 1 Heats on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Competitors start the Women's Triathlon around London
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Clarisse Cruz of Portugal competes in the Women's 3000m Steeplechase Round 1 Heats on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Vasiliki Arvaniti of Greece hits over the net during the Women's Beach Volleyball Preliminary match between China and Greece on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Horse Guards Parade on August 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: The Germany team throw their cox Martin Sauer into the water after winning gold in the Men's Eight Final on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 1, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: A Canada team member jumps into the water as his team-mates celebrate winning silver in the Men's Eight Final on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on August 1, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Hassine Ghada of Tunisia competes in the Women's 69kg Weightlifting on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Natasha Perdue of Great Britain reacts while competing in the Women's 69kg Weightlifting on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 02: Anastasia Zueva of Russia and Elizabeth Beisel of the United States embrace after competing in the Women's 200m Backstroke heat 3 on Day 6 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 2, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
British police officers arrest a supporter of Ukrainian FEMEN movement protesting in a "Islamic Marathon" against what they claim are bloody Islamist regimes that are supported by the International Olympic Committee outside City Hall in London, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Ning Ding of China plays a forehand during the Women's Singles Table Tennis quarter-final match against Ai Fukuhara of Japan on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Hope Munro (L) of Australia drops her stick as she is challenged by Julia Mueller of Germany during the Women's Hockey Match between Germany and Australia on day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Riverbank Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Michael Maze of Denmark completes during the Men's Singles Table Tennis quarter-final match against Dimitrij Ovtcharov of Germany on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: xxxx plays a forehand during the xxxx match against xxxx on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Chad le Clos of South Africa celebrates after winning the gold in the Men's 200m Butterfly final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: xxxx plays a forehand during the xxxx match against xxxx on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Anthony Davis #14 of United States dunks over Salah Mejri #15 of Tunisia during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Kosuke Kitajima of Japan prepares to compete in the Men's 200m Breaststroke semi final 2 on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Shiwen Ye of China competes in the Women's 200m Individual Medley final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: (L-R) Gemma Lowe of Great Britain and Kathleen Hersey of the United States dive in the water at the start of the Women's 200m Butterfly semi final 2 on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Russell Westbrook #7 of United States dunks the ball against Tunisia during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Basketball Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt competes with Byungchul Choi of Korea in the Men's Foil Individual Semifinal against on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Anderson Mina Rojas of Equador (R) in action with Uktamjon Rahmonov of Uzbekistan during the Men's Light Welter (64kg) Boxing on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Ai Fukuhara of Japan serves during the Women's Singles Table Tennis quarter-final match match against Ning Ding of China on on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Gabrielle Douglas of the United States of America competes on the balance beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Elizabeth Tweddle of Great Britain performs on the uneven bars in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Sheng Lei of China celebrates winning the Men's Foil Individual Gold Medal Bout against Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Silver medallist Michael Phelps of the United States reacts after receiving his medal during the medal ceremony for the Men's 200m Butterfly final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Qingfeng Lin of China competes during the Men's 69kg Weightlifting Final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Aidan Zingel #1 and Igor Yudin #6 of Australia block Australia shot from Great Britain during Men's Volleyball on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Earls Court on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Sheng Lei (L) of China competes in the Men's Foil Individual Gold Medal Bout against Alaaeldin Abouelkassem of Egypt on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Daniel Narcisse of France jumps ahead of Gonzalo Matias Carou of Argentina during the Men's Handball Preliminary match between Argentina and France on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Copper Box on July 31, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Michael Phelps of the United States dives off of the block at the start of heat 5 of the Men's 200m Butterfly on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Nicholas McCrory from the United States during warm-ups on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
German Sanchez Sanchez and Ivan Garcia Navarro (L) of Mexico look on from the pool deck during the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Diving on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Jose Antonio Guerra and Jeinkler Aguirre of Cuba during the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Diving on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 30, 2012 in London, England.
Eric Hurd and Jeff Larimer of the United States compete during the Men's Canoe Double (C2) Slalom heats on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Clayton Fredericks of Australia falls from Bendigo in the Eventing Cross Country Equestrian event on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Great Britain's Tom Daley (left) and Peter Waterfield practice before the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Final during day three of the 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London.
Great Britain's Nicola Wilson riding Opposition Buzz jumps The Moon fence on the cross country course during The Eventing at Greenwich Park, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Great Britain's Max Whitlock competes on the vault during the Artistic Gymnastics team final at the North Greenwich Arena, London, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics
Great Britain's Sarah Clark (left) is thrown by France's Automne Pavia during their WomenÕs 57kg Judo bout at the ExCel North Arena 2, London, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Great Britain's Richard Brickell during Day 1 of the Skeet Qualification Round at the Royal Artillery Barracks, London, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Francesca Dallape and Tania Cagnotto of Italy compete in the Women's Synchronised 3m Springboard final on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Kazakhstan's Sergey Lim is thrown by Japan's Masashi Ebinuma (right) in the Men's 66kg Judo Round of 16 at the ExCeL Centre on the second day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Great Britain's Liam Tancock starts his Men's 100m Backstroke First Semi-final at the Aquatics Centre, London.
USA's Venus Williams during the practice session at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon, London.
Great Britain's Joseph Regan (blue cap) battles for the ball against Romania in the mens Water Polo preliminary group B match at the Water Polo Arena, London.
Great Britain's Beth Tweddle competes on the uneven bars during the Artistic Gymnastics Team Qualification at the North Greenwich Arena, London, on the second day of the London 2012 Olympics
Rebecca Adlington (C) of Great Britain competes in the Women's 400m Freestyle heat 3 on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Yao Jinnan of China practises on the Beam during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games
Bryony Shaw of Great Britain in action during training at the Weymouth & Portland Venue ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Vasiliki Millousi of Greece competes on the beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Laura Ludwig of Germany dives for the ball during Women's Beach Volleyball Preliminary match between Germany and Australia on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Victoria Komova of Russia competes on the vault in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Mike Dawson of New Zealand competes during the Men's Kayak (K1) Canoe Slalom heats on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Heem Wei Lim of Singapore performs on the beam in the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team qualification on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Michael Phelps of the United States dives into the water to swim his leg of the relay as team mate Nathan Adrian touches the wall during the Final of the Men's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Emily Seebohm of Australia competes in the Women's 100m Backstroke semi final 2 on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Luol Deng #9 of Great Britain falls as a basket is made against Russia during their Men's Basketball Game on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Austin Playfoot, lights the Olympic Cauldron following it being moved into position ready for the athletics in the Olympic Stadium on July 30, 2012 in London
Great Britain's Sarah Barrow (near) and Tonia Couch practice their diving routine during the training session in the Aquatics Centre at Olympic Park, London.
Great Britain's Rebecca Gallantree (bottom) and Alicia Blagg compete in the Women's Synchronised 3m Springboard at the Aquatics Centre, London, on the second day of the London 2012 Olympics.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Street artist James Cochran, Aka Jimmy C puts the finishing touches to a piece of work depicting the face of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt on July 20, 2012 in London, England. The opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games will take place in seven days on July 27, 2012. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Annabelle Smith of Australia practices a dive during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
A member of Team Australia practices the floor exercise during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Training Academy on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Diver Tom Daley of Great Britain shakes water out of his hair as he climbs out of the pool during a diving training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Tom Daley (R) and Peter Waterfield of Great Britain during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Tom Daley of Great Britain dives during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Great Britain's Tim Baillie (left) and Stott Etienne in action in the mens double canoe during the training session at Lee Valley White Water Centre, Waltham Cross. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 26, 2012. Photo credit should read: Stephen Pond/PA Wire.
Athletes from the Great Britain Women's Synchronised Swimming team practice during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 25: (EDITORS NOTE: Multiple exposures were combined in camera to produce this image.) A Chinese diver trains ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatic Centre on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
The Great Britain synchronize team train ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatic Centre on July 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Yang Sun of China swims during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England.
James Goddard of Great Britain looks on during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Swimmer Hayden Stoeckel of Australia swims during a training session ahead of the London Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre in Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Daniele Matias Hypolito of Brazil chalks her feet on the uneven bars during training sessions for artistic gymnastics ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Training Academy on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt: the only man to successfully defend the Olympic 100 and 200 metres, the double double.

He delivered history's "oh my god" moment with a finger pinned to his mouth, a gesture aimed at the doubters who thought the golden thread that runs through his core had started to fray. It was also pointing in the direction of the man to his left, Yohan Blake, who confused victory in the Jamaican trials over the same distance as evidence of his own power to make all before him yield. Not yet young man.



Blake's lunge for the line was in its own terms a mark of respect for the champion. There was no slowing here, no peacock display under braking as he crossed the line. He was balls out, draining every last ounce of effort to drag Bolt back into his orbit.



No chance. Bolt was upright, magnificent and proud, an athlete for the ages doing his thing when it mattered. What a moment. What a man.



There was something of Las Vegas about the day. This race began in mid-afternoon in the Westfield Centre adjacent to Olympic Park with thousands milling, hanging out, killing time, savouring the countdown, sensing that they were part of an extraordinary moment. This was not just about the Olympics, or even sport. There is an awesome quality attached to great deeds, and running fast is right up there with lunar landings and a knockout punch thrown in a prize-fighting ring in its power to compel. It is so far beyond what is normal, outside our range of experience.



Jamaica was well represented on the walkways and in the cafes, splashes of green, gold and black proclaiming an association with the Caribbean island. Bolt validates every last one of them, bestows upon them a sense of entitlement and a swagger. They win because he wins. Where are you from? Jamaica. Ah, Usain Bolt. And so with every stride he takes deeper into the annals of Olympic achievement Bolt augments the identity of his country, projecting Jamaica into the living rooms of the world.



The debate is already well advanced to claim for the island and her antecedents in West Africa a significant gene that confers upon them the gift of speed. The science is not yet as powerful as the sociology. Nature trails nurture and the contribution of the athletic hot house that is Trelawny and its schools, Waldensia Primary and William Knibb Memorial High, where Bolt's talent was spotted and encouraged. Even if a super gene proves to be the catalyst, it does not make him smile, or dance, or draw his golden bow. These are attributes all his own, expressions of a non-derivative kind.



Yes he has cultivated and polished the persona. The insouciance of pre-fight ritual, the joking last night in the warm-up area with baseball cap casually pitched atop that pristine dome, is all a little practiced perhaps but not sufficiently to harm the authenticity of the beast. It is these, the inflections of a vivid personality that augment the fable rooted in the velocity at which he covers the ground.



There were plenty of world class sprinters in this field, but only one Bolt. He is the face of these Games, the athlete that matters most, the special one, separate and distinct.



British athletes have enjoyed a degree of Olympic plunder unprecedented in the modern era. We luxuriate in the dominance of our cyclists, the excellence of our rowers and sailors. And yes we had that golden hour six days ago that ranks right up there as one of the greatest episodes in our sporting canon. But the feats of Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford were ours to own. They had meaning only for us. Bolt transcends borders, race, creed, religious orientation. When he lines up on the blocks he is representing humanity, defining what is possible within the limitations of the species. He belongs to all of us.



Where he stands in the hierarchy of the great fast men is almost irrelevant. Eight others had done what he managed in Beijing, claiming double gold in the sprint events, among them Jesse Owens and Carl Lewis, who in different eras circumscribed the age with their athletic endeavours. This is the territory occupied by Bolt today, a towering figure in the presence of whom we freeze.



An athlete of the calibre of David Rudisha, who took gold in the 800 metres in world record time – yes that was the 800 metres – was presented as the undercard entertainment. The 23-year-old Maasai supernova is undefeated, a two-lap warrior to stand comparison with Ovett and Coe, Aouita and El Guerrouj. To Kenya and the continent of Africa he is a treasure trove of YouTube gold and positive press clippings, but not Bolt, not the fastest man on earth.



His arrival met with the standard fanfare. The last gold medal ceremony of the evening was coming to an end as the competitors made their way to the blocks. The mention of his name set the decibel level soaring and then 80,000 voices fell silent as if the starter had a volume switch in his hand.



The rasp of the starting device was the signal to unleash hell. Bolt hit the bend like a greyhound. This is the event best suited to his 6ft 5in frame. Blake kept him honest but nothing more. As he came to the finishing straight Blake was pumping his heaving bulk for all it was worth. Bolt was flying, head still, eyes on the prize.



Facts in figures

1 Bolt became first man to retain both sprint titles.



95% The fitness level Bolt claimed he was at before the start of the Olympics in London.



2 Bolt holds two of the best three 200m times ever recorded.



12 Hundreths of a second that Bolt beat Blake in both the 100 and 200m.

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