/ 6 August 2012

Usain Bolt’s gift to Jamaica

Usain Bolt blitzed his way down the track to win in 9.63 seconds in the Olympic 100m.
Usain Bolt blitzed his way down the track to win in 9.63 seconds in the Olympic 100m.

Just a short while after "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius missed out on qualifying for the 400m final, Bolt silenced his doubters by breezing past the finish line in a time of 9.63 seconds, beating the Games record of 9.69 he set in Beijing four years ago.

Training partner Yohan Blake took the silver medal in Sunday night's final to make it a Jamaican one-two, a day before the Caribbean nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.

Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce got the party started on Saturday by retaining her women's 100m title.

Some had questioned whether Bolt had it in him to win a second successive gold in the blue riband sprint after suffering back problems, getting himself disqualified for a false start in last year's world championship and losing to Blake in the Jamaican trials. 

But after an indifferent start, he blitzed his way down the track to win in 9.63 seconds, an Olympic record and the second fastest time ever behind his own world record of 9.58. The US's Justin Gatlin took bronze.

Bolt kissed the ground and then leant back and pointed to the sky in his trademark 'lightning bolt' salute before basking in adulation on a lap of honour, draped in the Jamaican flag.

"Some of you guys doubted me," the 25-year-old told reporters. "I just had to show the world I was the greatest.

"It means I'm one step closer to being a legend," said Bolt who will now bid to complete an unprecedented double-double by retaining his 200 title on Thursday.

Title winners
Sanya Richards-Ross of the United States the won 400m gold on Sunday at the third time of asking, 2004 champion Ezekiel Kemboi regained his Olympic title to extend Kenya's dominance in the steeplechase while Ethiopia's Tika Gelana took the women's marathon.

Hungary's Krisztian Pars added the Olympic hammer title to his European crown and Kazakhstan's Olga Rypakova leapt to gold in the women's triple jump with a best mark of 14.98m.

Among Monday's highlights will be Russian Yelena Isinbayeva's bid for a third successive Olympic victory in the pole vault.

Traditionally an Olympic powerhouse, Russia have had a disappointing Games, lying ninth in the overall medals table with just four golds.

China are top with 30 golds, having overtaken the United States on 28, while hosts Britain gained two more on Sunday to lie third with 16. 

Source: London2012.com

Best of British
Six British golds on Saturday, including Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon and Mo Farah in the 10 000m, prompted Games chief Sebastian Coe to describe it as "the greatest day in sport I have ever witnessed".

The home run continued on Sunday when sailor Ben Ainslie won the Finn sailing class in the waters off Weymouth on England's south coast to take his personal Olympic medal collection to one silver and four straight golds.

Andy Murray turned the tables on Roger Federer to win tennis gold on Wimbledon's Centre Court, four weeks to the day after the Swiss beat him at the same venue in the third Grand Slam tournament of the year.

His 6-2 6-1 6-4 thrashing of the world number one was the biggest win of Murray's career.

Federer's defeat appears to have wrecked his chances of completing the 'Golden Slam' of the big four titles and the Olympic singles crown as he will be 34 when the Games moves on to Rio de Janeiro in four years.

Boxed in
But not everything went Team GB's way.

Murray failed to add a second gold when he and Laura Robson lost to Max Mirnyi and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the final of the mixed doubles.

Denmark's Lasse Norman Hansen won the men's multi-disciplinary omnium on the cycling track, pushing Britain's Ed Clancy into third. It was only the second time in six events in the velodrome that Britain has not won gold.

Hungary's double world champion Krisztian Berki broke British hearts as he dramatically snatched the Olympic pommel horse gold on a tiebreak ahead of home favourite Louis Smith.

In sailing, Sweden's Fredrik Loof and Max Salminen produced a perfect medal race to beat Britain's defending champions Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson in the two-man Star class.

China claimed an unprecedented sweep of all five Olympic badminton golds as Lin Dan defeated Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei to win the men's singles and Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng won the men's doubles.

Russia's Elena Savelyeva won the first women's Olympic boxing bout in front of a packed crowd, bringing an end to the last all-male preserve at the Games. – Reuters