Two down, one more to go

Two down, one more to go

Bolt cruises to 200M title, one gold away from completing a rare triple-triple

Two down, one more to go

A scowl of deep disappointment clouded Usain Bolt’s face as he flashed past the finish in the 200 metres for his second gold medal of his final Olympic Games.

The Jamaican had created history by becoming the first athlete to win the sprint double in three Olympic Games but he couldn’t deliver what he had promised. Thoughts of a world record had dominated his mind leading into the final but all he could turn in was a 19.78-second burst, equaling his season’s best clocked in Wednesday’s semifinals.

“C’mon,” he muttered to himself, feeling utterly let down by his performance. For the seven others behind him it was a sprint of sheer dominance from the Jamaican. One could even say he won as he pleased. The Jamaican wasn’t pleased though, despite adding an eighth Olympic gold to his collection.

“I ran hard around the turn. In the straight, my body did not respond. I am getting old,” said Bolt. It was his final individual sprint at an Olympic Games and perhaps gripped by the sense of occasion, the Jamaican went back to the track after his victory lap to fondly kiss the finish line.

“I don’t need to prove anything else. What else can I do to prove to the world that I am the greatest,” he asked.

The 200 final was the last event of the programme and as the night wore on, the weather turned cooler. A few minutes before the big race, it started to rain. Sprinters prefer warmer weather and the conditions weren’t certainly ideal to attempt a world record, even though the rain ceased before the start of the final.

Bolt, from lane 6, took off in a flash and was soon level with Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre on his outside. On the inside, American LaShawn Merritt was slow to take off while Andre de Grasse of Canada seemed game for a fight. Bolt’s big stride helped him establish an early lead and coming past the bend, he was ahead by two metres.

Bolt’s eagerness for the world record was apparent in each of his strides in the straight. The smoothness though was lacking in the final few metres and the power he wanted just wouldn’t come. The trackside timer then flashed the news that Bolt just didn’t want to see. Like in the 100, it was the slowest of his winning times in three Olympics, after Beijing (19.30) and London (19.32).

De Grasse sneaked ahead to win the silver but there was a close tussle behind him for the bronze, with Lemaitre, Britain’s Adam Gemili and Churandi Martina of the Netherlands almost bunched together.

The photo verdict then gave the bronze to Lemaitre with him and Gemili given the same time (20.12).

Minutes earlier, defending decathlon champion Ashton Eaton created a small piece of history for himself, becoming only the third man to win the Olympic crown twice in his event. Eaton equalled the Olympic record of 8893 points to come on par with Bob Mathias (1948 and 1952) as well as Daley Thompson (1980 and 1984).

Crouser dazzles

American Ryan Crouser smashed a 28-year-old Olympic record to win the shot put. Crouser hurled the iron ball to 22.52 metres to erase the record of 22.47 set by Ulf Timmerman in 1988. The fancied Joe Kovacs had to settle for silver at 21.78.

The United States were allowed a re-run in the 4x100M relay after an obstruction by Brazil ruined their chances in the morning heats. The Americans ran alone in the evening, when they had to clock a quicker time than 42.7 seconds to advance to the final. The quartet of Tianna Bartoletta, Al­l­yson Felix, English Gardner and Morolake Akinosun reco­rded 41.77 in the solo run to make the final.

Results: Men: 200M: Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 19.78 seconds, 1; Andre de Grasse (Canada) 20.02, 2; Christophe Lemaitre (France) 20.12, 3.

Shot put: Ryan Crouser (United States) 22.52 (Olympic record. Old: 22.47, Ulf Timmerman, 1988), 1; Joe Kovacs (United States) 21.78, 2; Tomas Walsh (New Zealand) 21.36, 3.

Decathlon: Ashton Eaton (United States) 8893 points (Equalled Olympic record, Roman Sebre, 2004), 1; Kevin Mayer (France) 8834, 2; Damian Warner (Canada) 8666, 3.

Women: 400M hurdles: Dalilah Mohammad (United States) 53.13 seconds, 1; Sara Peterson (Denmark) 53.55, 2; Ashley Spencer (United States) 53.72, 3.

Javelin throw: Sara Kolak (Croatia) 66.18 metres, 1; Sunette Viljoen (South Africa) 64.92, 2; Barbora Spotakova (Czech Republic) 64.80, 3.

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