Olympic Stadium, London: Led by the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt, Jamaica reinforced its might in the 100m sprint before an 80,000 capacity crowd here on Sunday.
Bolt set a new Olympic Record with a time of 9.63secs, re-writing his own mark of 9.69secs that he had set at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing four years ago, leaving teammate Yohan Blake for the silver while Justin Gatlin took bronze.
Bolt was followed by countryman Blake with a time of 9.75secs, while the American trio led by Gatlin saw Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey follow in fourth and fifth respectively even as Bolt’s pre-race challenger Asafa Powell ended at the back of the pack with a horrendous time of 11.99secs.
With the three Americans and Jamaicans going head to head in the semi-finals earlier in the evening, it was Gatlin who had thrown down the gauntlet for Bolt and Blake to respond.
Gatlin cruised home with the fastest time of 9.82 secs leaving Asafa Powell in third (9.94) even as Dutchman Churandy Martina set a new national record of 9.91 secs in the first semi-final.
Bolt had responded in the only way he could, by getting off to a quick start and ease away looking over his shoulder after just 70 metres of the race to finish in the evening’s third best time of 9.87secs while American Ryan Bailey came in second with 9.96.
The third heat was won by Bolt’s teammate Yohan Blake setting the second fastest time of 9.85 secs while Tyson Gay was second with 9.90 secs.