Usain Bolt concluded what has been a phenomenal season with another breathtaking display over his favourite 200 metres distance at the World Athletics Final in Thessalonika last night.
Bolt said tiredness towards the end of the race, which has prompted him to call his memorable year to an immediate halt, slowed him, although he still roared to another fantastic time of 19.68 seconds at the Greek venue.
The performance yet again saw the 23-year-old Jamaican, who set his second world record of 19.19sec when winning last month's World Championship title, racing against the clock rather than his rivals.
Bolt motored around the bend of the sell-out Kaftanzoglio stadium before accelerating down the final straight to leave Wallace Spearmon (20.21sec) and Brendan Christian (20.65sec) struggling in his slipstream.
The latest superlative victory saw him narrowly miss the Greek all-comers record of 19.67sec, which he achieved in July last year in Athens.
“The finish wasn't on purpose, I was a little bit tired,” Bolt said after noticeably slowing.
“I was running on fumes and that was the last bit of energy I had. I'm just happy that the season's over and I did well and I didn't get injured, which was the key for me.”
Bolt, who has been away from Jamaica for more than 10 weeks, added: “This is the longest season that I've done. I've done better than I expected and now I just want to concentrate on doing my best year after year.”
Britain's Marlon Devonish, after making the only permitted false start in the race, gave it everything he had in his armoury but had to settle for sixth in 20.85sec.
On a great night for women's sprinting, Carmelita Jeter scored a fabulous 100m victory, clocking the fifth fastest time ever of 10.67sec with a memorable victory ahead of Shelly-Ann Fraser and Kerron Stewart.
Jeter's time was the fastest on the planet since drug cheat Marion Jones ran 10.65sec at altitude 10 years ago and only a third American, world record holder Florence Griffith Joyner, has run quicker.
The world bronze medallist, breathless after her stunning show, said: “Around 60m I picked my knees up and I could feel myself just bouncing along the track.”