Usain Bolt drew down the curtain on his brilliant Olympic career by securing a sweep of the sprint titles for a third successive Games when Jamaica successfully defended the 4×100 meters relay crown in Rio
In the eight years since Beijing, the 11-times world champion has become one of the best known sportsmen on the planet and with the ‘triple-triple’ has a legitimate claim to the title of greatest Olympic track and field athlete ever.
There has never been any doubt in the Jamaican’s own mind.
“There you go, I am the greatest. I’ve worked hard every Olympics to win three gold medals… so I’m just happy that I’ve accomplished so much,” Usain Bolt told reporters.
“It’s a relief but I’m also sad that I have to leave. This is my last one… It’s just so many special feelings I’m feeling.”
There is no doubt that Bolt has transformed his sport, if only by almost single-handedly displacing the United States as the superpower of men’s sprinting.
It was only almost single-handedly, though, as his three Olympic relay titles, two in world record times, always required the input of his fellow Jamaican speedsters.
That was always going to be enough for Bolt in his final Olympic race, however, and he powered down the straight to finish five meters clear of Japan’s Aska Cambridge.
“I told the guys, ‘don’t give me too much work to do, make it easy’,” Bolt said. “And they did exactly that, I had no work to do, just to run to the line.”
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