Usain Bolt charged down the straight with all his energy and intensity, as if his life was on the line, to sign off the Olympics with a sprint relay world record of 36.84s for Jamaica.
The momentum almost carried him to the 200m mark before Bolt eased to celebrate with a ‘Mo bot’ salute quite characteristic of his friend Mo Farah, who himself did a grand double of the 10,000 and 5000 metres to warm the British hearts on Saturday.
There was no doubt that Bolt wanted the world record for his teammates, and he picked the relay gold above his individual sprint gold medals as the one dearest to his heart in the London Games. He repeated his feat of winning three gold medals in Beijing, which he had done in world record time.
It was a dream finish as Bolt got the baton from Blake almost the same time as the American anchor Ryan Bailey got it from Tyson Gay. Bolt was just too good and beat the American by two metres.
“It is always a beautiful feeling to end like this. For me it is a wonderful feeling. The team came out and gave their all. I knew a world record was possible,” said Bolt, who joined Ray Ewry of the US to win three athletic gold medals in two Games. Bolt was the first to do it in the last 108 years.
With his six Olympic gold medals, the 25-year-old Bolt was behind Paavo Nurmi (9) of Finland, Carl Lewis (9) of the US and Ewry (8), in athletics. Bolt said that it would be difficult for him to be at his prime in Rio in 2016 when Blake would be at the peak of his powers.
“I am sure a lot of other young guys are coming up. So, I will see what happens in four years,” the towering Jamaican said.
The Americans had done their best and matched the previous record of 37.04 set by the Jamaicans in the last World championship in Daegu. Their best was not good enough. Jamaica became the second country to defend its Olympic title in the event since the US in 1976.
Trinidad and Tobago got the bronze in 38.12 seconds, after Canada, deemed to have won the bronze, was disqualified for lane violation.
Bolt kissed the track and announced that seven was his coach’s lucky number and he was lucky to get lane seven twice in three finals.
“I kissed the track. It gave us a world record and it was great,” said Bolt, and he had no hesitation in stressing that the relay was his “favourite moment”.
Bolt summed it up nicely when he said, “When I saw Yohan go past Tyson, I knew it was over because I knew Bailey couldn’t outrun me on the straight.”
Mo Farah’s pat for Bolt
Mo Farah was all praise for Bolt, and said that it was an honour that the Jamaican did the ‘Mo bot’ in celebration.
“Bolt is a legend. We take him for granted. To see him do the ‘Mo bot’ is amazing after breaking the world record. Wow, I can’t believe he did that. It is an honour,” said Farah.
There was a bit of a drama when a track official got the baton back from Bolt, as it was a ‘rule’, and even went to the extent of threatening him of disqualification if the Jamaican failed to part with it. Bolt wanted to get it signed by the others and he had his way a little later when the baton was officially given back to him. There was no way anyone was going to deny Bolt having it his way.