RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Usain Bolt easily dispatched his rivals to secure his third successive men’s 100 metres Olympic Games title in Brazil on Sunday night.
Bolt, recovered from a slow start to power past American Justin Gatlin and win the gold in a season’s best 9.81 seconds – becoming the first man in Olympic history to win three straight 100m titles.
The world record holder said he knew the title was his after he won his semi-final.
“I knew I was going to win after the semi-finals,” Bolt told reporters. “I felt good.”
The title won at Rio 2016 adds to the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 100m crowns won by Bolt in his Olympic career.
USA’s Gatlin, who led the race in the opening metres, finished with the silver medal in 9.89secs, with Canadian Andre de Grasse taking third in 9.91.
“I have the utmost respect for Usain,” Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion in Athens, said. “Away from the track, he’s a great guy, he’s a cool guy, there is no rivalry between us. There is no bad blood.
“I’m a competitor, he’s a competitor and he has pushed me to be the athlete that I am today. I hope he can say the same for me.”
London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Yohan Blake of Jamaica was fourth in 9.93.
Jamaican sprinters have now won the men’s and women’s 100m Olympic titles at three successive Games.