RIO DE JANEIRO: Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man, bid farewell to the Olympics by powering to a record third straight sweep of the sprint medals and a final chance to declare himself “the greatest.”
No one had the power on the track nor the courage off it to contradict the 29-year-old whose blistering run gave Jamaica victory in the 4x100m relay.
Victory was not guaranteed when Bolt took the baton for the anchor leg, but he powered down the straight to cross in 37.27sec before soaking up the acclaim from an adoring crowd.
A third straight 100m, 200m and 4x100m clean sweep put Bolt alongside Carl Lewis and Paavo Nurmi on nine track and field Olympic golds.
Bolt, who said at the start of the week that he would be an “immortal” if he claimed the ‘triple triple,’ had no doubt that he deserves more acclaim.
“There you go. I’m the greatest,” said the Jamaican, who kissed the finish line as he played to the crowd and the cameras.
And how did he achieve greatness? “Dedication. I wanted it the most. I was never satisfied.”
“I hope I’ve set the bar high enough that no one can do it again,” said Bolt whose departure is a second blow to the Olympics after the retirement of swimming legend Michael Phelps with his 23 career golds.