Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Remember me as the greatest

Published:Thursday | August 25, 2016 | 8:00 AMAndre Lowe

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil:

It is done.

Usain Bolt will never run another individual race at the Olympic Games, after bowing out in style inside a packed Olympic Stadium, becoming the first man to win three consecutive gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

The fans will miss his flair and his amazing performances.

The history writers - not so much.

Bolt, who stopped the clock at 19.78 seconds to win the 200m final by 24-hundredth of a second ahead of Canadian AndrÈ De Grasse, 20.02, and Christophe Lemaitre (France), 20.12 in third, was clear about how he wishes to be remembered.

"I want to be remembered as one of the greatest. I have worked all my career, all my life, so hopefully they can read about me as one of the greatest ever in this sport," said Bolt.

 

STORYBOOK ENDING

 

It's a storybook ending to an Olympic individual career that started with a first-round elimination after a fifth-place finish at the Athens Olympics in 2004. It's hard to remember that even happening now.

"I definitely didn't see this happening back then. In Athens, I just went there and all I wanted to do was run the 200m and be Olympic champion once, and to be this successful and have nine gold medals now - it's just amazing, it's a big deal, it's shocking, but I have worked hard and pushed myself to be the best," said Bolt.

"I came here for this and I got it. I'm happy that I came out and executed and won, that's the key thing. I wasn't so pleased with the time, I wanted to run faster, my legs decided they weren't having it," he said of the 200m success.

"I felt tired, but it's just one of those things. But the key thing is that I won and the only thing that matters to me is the gold medal," Bolt added. "It's been mentally and physically challenging so to get over this hump is great."

It was his sixth straight individual gold and his 23rd straight win in the 200m at a major championship, lifting his overall gold medal tally to eight - a tally he later improved to nine - the same as American legend Carl Lewis - with another win in the men's 4x100m final.

Bolt, who had promised an assault on his 100m and 200m world records in Rio, noted that he has no regrets.

"No, definitely not. I'm never disappointed in anything I do. I have proven myself to the world, I have done great things, I have come back from injury, I am not stressed," said Bolt. "I still have the world records even though it's been a long time. I am happy, I am an Olympic champion again, and that's the main thing."

andre.lowe@gleanerjm.com