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Usain Bolt, who won the 200m, in 19.78 seconds, at the Olympic Stadium, later admitted that he was not fresh enough for the world record that he wanted.
“My legs decided as I came off the corner that wasn’t going to be any faster. I am happy that I got the gold,” said Bolt.
“When I went to Athens in 2004, all I wanted to do was run the 200m and win an Olympic gold medal once. To be eight-time Olympic gold-medallist is a big deal, and I have worked hard to be the best,” who celebrates his 30th birthday on Sunday.
Announcing that he will run only the 100m and the relay at the London World Championship next year, Bolt said: “I was saying goodbye. It was my last individual event at the Olympics..”
The Jamaican had words of praise for silver medallist Andre de Grasse (20.02). “The younger kids have definitely stepped up. de Grasse has been on the right track. I love competition. He is a young kid. He has a great talent.”
“But I tell youngsters, you are not going to beat me!” Bolt said, adding that de Grasse might have pushed himself a little too hard in the semifinals in trying to tire him out.
“I have proven to the world that I am the greatest. I have made the sport exciting,” he proclaimed.
“Fun is what I do. It keeps me relaxed. It gives me the energy and the vibes. That is why I am so good at what I do,” said Bolt.
de Grasse said: “I definitely exceeded my expectations. A silver medal in the 200m was great. But Usain did his thing. I could have done a better job of contending with him.”
France’s Christophe Lemaitre got a bronze on a photo finish ahead of Adam Gemili of Britain.
USA’s Ryan Courser was consistently brilliant as he clinched the shot put gold with an Olympic record 22.52m. The silver went to his compatriot and world champion Joe Kovacs at 21.78m.
Ashton Eaton defended his decathlon title, equalling the Olympic record of 8,893 points that he set in London, to join Daley Thompson and Bob Mathias as a two-time winner of the gruelling event.
Eaton also acknowledged Bolt’s achievement and his contribution to the sport. “In the years to come, we will see a lot of young athletes who will say, I got inspired by Usain Bolt. When I got inspired by Michael Johnson, I was eight years old,” said Eaton.
In women’s javelin, Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic, who threw 64.80 metres, missed winning her third consecutive gold. Croatia’s Sara Kolak (66.18) took the honours.
Dalilah Muhammad of the US took the women’s 400 metres hurdles ahead of Sara Siott Petersen of Denmark and the American Ashley Spencer.
USA’s Kerron Clement won the men’s event.