Usain Bolt has urged the world to bask in his glory after becoming the first man to win the Olympic sprint double twice in succession on an historic night in London.
While breaking a world record proved beyond even him last night – Kenya’s David Rudisha managed that in the 800metres – Bolt did achieve the legendary status he had craved by retaining his 200m title in 19.32 seconds, leading a Jamaican clean sweep ahead of 100m silver medallist Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, both of whom are just 22.
“I’m now a living legend. Bask in my glory,” Bolt said at the medallists’ press conference. “Now I am going to sit back, relax and think about what’s next.
“I don’t know what I really want to do after this, whether to run the 100 or 200 or try something else. I need to find a (new) goal that’s going to motivate me to great things.
“But I am not ready to retire. I love this sport. The rest of the season I am just going to have fun because I did what I came here to do.”
Bolt had lost to Blake over 100 and 200m at the Jamaican trials – and later underwent treatment on a stiff back which was causing hamstring problems – but gained sweet revenge over both distances in London, even having the time to raise a finger to his lips as he crossed the line last night.
That was jokingly directed at training partner Blake, who had made the same gesture at the trials, and Bolt – who came up with his version of a ’Royal wave’ before the race – added: “A lot of people were doubting me but that’s good because now you know who your true friends are who are going to support you through everything.”
Asked about breaking the world record of 19.19secs he set when winning the world title in Berlin in 2009, Bolt added: “I think it was possible but I guess I wasn’t fit enough. I was fast but I wasn’t fit enough.
“I came off the corner, I could feel the strain on my back a little bit so I was trying to keep my form, but I stopped running because I knew it wasn’t going to be a world record. I really wanted to do it in the 200m but I’m happy. I came here and I gave it my all and I’m proud of myself.”
The 80,000-strong crowd had earlier been treated to a world record, however, Rudisha storming through the first lap in 49.28 seconds and powering to a stunning victory in one minute 40.91secs, taking 0.10s off his previous record as all eight finalists set record times.
Eighteen-year-old Nijel Amos of Botswana claimed silver in a world junior record of 1:41.73 ahead of 17-year-old Kenyan Timothy Kitum, with Britain’s Andrew Osagie taking 0.71s off his personal best despite finishing eighth.
Amazingly, Osagie’s time of 1:43.77 would have won gold at the last three Olympic Games, while it also took him fourth on the British all-time list behind Seb Coe, Steve Cram and Peter Elliott.
Rudisha, 23, said: “It was something special. A world record in the Olympics is something fantastic. I believe I’m going to maintain for a couple of years. I want to become a legend in the 800m.
“I was expecting this year to run a 1:40 and already I’ve done it here so I still want to see how I am going to feel in a few weeks before my last race, whether I can still push it or chase for the world record. If I get (good) weather I can try to do it again.”