09 AUG 2012 Report

London 2012 - Event Report - Men's 200m Final

Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates in front of teammate Warren Weir of Jamaica after winning gold in the Men's 200m Final of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 9 August 2012 (Getty Images)Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates in front of teammate Warren Weir of Jamaica after winning gold in the Men's 200m Final of the London 2012 Olympic Games on 9 August 2012 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Finally confirming himself as a track and field legend, Usain Bolt blasted to a second successive supercharged Olympic 200m victory with Yohan Blake and Warren Weir crowning a fantastic night for Jamaica when following him across the finish line.

Bolt finally when it mattered most and on the World's greatest sporting stage, totally silenced the doubters who felt the 6 feet 5 inch giant was past his sell-by date after Blake, last year's World Championships 100m gold medallist, beat him at their Olympic trials.

The World record holder may have quieted the threats of Blake and Weir when scorching around the first bend to open a three metres lead but not the 80,000 spectators with "Bolt Mania" erupting as he strode on to even more Olympic glory.

The 25-year-old, who first showed the speed he was going to later unleash on the sprinting world when winning the World Junior title on his home track in Kingston a decade ago as a young teenager, produced a dazzling display and 2012 World leading time of 19.32.

That performance was until he broke it in Beijing four years ago by 0.02sec the long-standing Olympic and World record set by his hero Michael Johnson at the 1996 Games on home soil in Atlanta. And until the final 10 metres it looked as if he would have ran faster.

But Bolt, victory assured even though Blake was trying desperately to close a big gap down, switched down in pace, cancelling the hopes he might destroy the World record of 19.19 which earned him his World title in Berlin three years ago.

Bolt not surprisingly showboating on his lap of honour and commenting on his summer of minor setbacks, said: "It was hard for me, it was hard. I'm really dedicated to my work. I knew what London meant and I'm proud of myself.

"I did what I wanted. I came out of a rough season and I did what I had to do.

"It's what I came here to do," he added, before declaring: "I'm now a legend, I'm also the greatest athlete to live. I am in the same category as Michael Johnson. I'm honoured.

Comparing himself with the American superstar, he added; It's all about Michael for me. I grew up watching him break World records. He's a great athlete."

Bolt, still to make another farewell appearance on the London track when Jamaica defend their sprint relay title, revealed: "The 200m was harder than I expected. I could feel the pressure coming off the bend and that's when I had to focus.

"It's all about the 4x100m now, to have some fun and go out there and do our best. It's wonderful. Jamaica has proven that we are the greatest sprint country."

Bolt, who in the future is expected to move up in distance to the 400m, insisted: "I've got nothing left to prove. I've showed the world I'm the best and, right now, I just want to enjoy myself."

Unconcerned at missing his World record, he said: "I knew it would be possible. I came off the corner but I was not quick enough. I could feel the strain in my back a bit."

But he emphasised: "This is my moment. I'll never forget this. Lane seven has been good to me these past couple of days."

Blake, beaten by Bolt in their 100m shoot out last Sunday and the second fastest ever half lap performer behind him with the 19.26 he clocked in Brussels last September and this year's World leader until tonight, never threw in the towel and was rewarded with a season's best of 19.44.

"It's great," said Blake after taking his second silver medal at the Games. "Of course, I want to thank Usain and Jamaica. This is my first Olympics, I can't complain. This moment here is special for Jamaica. This is so good to get the one, two, three."

Weir was also a sensation. Having beaten some other top ranked Jamaicans to surprisingly clinch Olympic selection he proved his time of 19.99 was no fluke when spectacularly reducing that to 19.84.

That saw the trio memorably celebrate their clean sweep trackside, the first since Athens in 2004 from Sean Crawford, Bernard Williams and Justin Gatlin of the USA.

"All the glory goes to Jamaica," said 22-year-old Weir, a great future beckoning him. "Thank you so much. This is a tremendous feeling and to have the one, two, three, words can't explain how I feel. It's just a wonderful feeling and I love London."

Wallace Spearmon was the only American to make the final on this occasion and although like Bolt troubled by injury niggles this summer managed to place fourth avenging his disqualification along with Churandy Martina - this time a place behind him in 20.00 dead - at the last Games when they both lost podium finishes for stepping outside their lanes.

Spearmon, spilling out praise to the medallists, said: "Congratulations to those guys, they were superb. Those guys are on another planet right now."

On running under 20 seconds and not getting a medal, he added: "You have your good days, you have your bad days, you have these days. It wasn't my best race, it wasn't my worst race. It just wasn't my day."

"There was never a doubt in my mind that I wouldn't finish in the top three. Right now it is just surreal. Congratulations to them, I just have to work harder."

Sixth was France's Christophe Lemaitre who produced a deflated 20.19 from the tight second lane while Ecuador's Alex Quinonez and Anaso Jobodwana who clocked 20.57 and 20.69 will savour having been part of another memorable Olympic Games 200 final.

David Martin for the IAAF