Usain Bolt roared into Olympic history on Day 9 of the Games, capturing an unprecedented third consecutive 100m crown to confirm his place in the pantheon of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen. The 29-year-old Jamaican legend, competing in his final Olympics, powered over the line in 9.81 second, vanquishing American rival Justin Gatlin, who took silver, and Andre De Grasse of Canada, who claimed bronze.
A 100m race lasts for less than 10 seconds and most of the epic moments go unnoticed. There are battles, moments of frustration, anguish and inspiration that only a trained eye or a camera can spot. Here are some of those from the epic race:
Smelling an opportunity: Gatlin made a powerful start to lead for the first 50 metres. Photo: AFP
My turn! But soon the American was in trouble and the defending champion surged ahead, around a metre clear of the rest. Photo: AFP
Warming up: The Jamaican pressed the pedal at the right time. Photo: AFP
Ooh, a camera! - There's always time for a pose. Photo: Getty Images
The weather seems good today: There seems to have been some kind of contemplation in the middle of the race. Photo: AFP
Enough of formalities: Bolt powered over the line in 9.81 seconds.
No other athlete — man or woman — has ever won three consecutive individual Olympic sprint titles. “Somebody said I can become immortal. Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal.”