Usain Bolt surged to the Olympic 200 metres title on Thursday at the head of a Jamaican medal sweep to become the first man to win the 100 and 200m sprints at successive Games.
The race capped a historic day when Kenya's David Rudisha broke his own 800m world record, leaving the field trailing from the gun, and Britain's Nicola Adams became the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title.
The sellout 80,000 attendance in the athletics stadium was matched at Wembley, where the biggest crowd for a women's Olympic soccer match saw the United States beat Japan 2-1 to claim their third straight Olympic gold. Bolt's time equalled the fourth fastest ever run as he eased down in the last 30 metres, sensing that he was not on course to break his own world record. Silver went to his main rival and training partner Yohan Blake, and bronze to Warren Weir.
“I knew it wasn't going to be a world record when I came around the corner, I could feel it,” Bolt said. “I really wanted to try to get a world record in the 200 metres but it was harder than I think.” Now unchallenged as the greatest sprinter of all time, Bolt could add a sixth gold medal if he can anchor Jamaica to a second successive Olympic 4x100m victory on Saturday, in the last athletics event.
Rudisha had his eye on history from the gun on a warm, still night, becoming the first man under one minute 41 seconds.
“I had no doubt about winning, but I was waiting for perfect conditions to break the record,” he said.
London Games chief Sebastian Coe, himself a former 800m world record holder, added: “Instead of just doing enough to win the race, he wanted to do something extraordinary... Rudisha's run will go down in history as one of the greatest Olympic victories.” World record holder Ashton Eaton of the United States won the decathlon, comfortably ahead of compatriot Troy Hardee, and the Czech Barbora Spotakova claimed the women's javelin gold. (Source: Reuters)