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Rio Olympics 2016: Usain Bolt wins 200m gold for the third time in his career

Rohith Nair
17.89K   //    19 Aug 2016, 06:54 IST
Usain Bolt 200m final Gold Rio Olympics 2016
Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the 200m final at the Rio Olympic Stadium

Usain Bolt cemented his legacy as the best sprinter the world has ever seen by winning his third Olympic gold in the 200m and eighth gold medal overall with a stunning win in the 200m final of the 2016 Rio Olympic games. The Jamaican sprinter was hardly challenged and was the only athlete to finish the race in less than 20 seconds. 

Before Bolt, no man had won the 200m in two different editions of the Olympics. He had won it in Beijing in 2008 and defended his crown in London in 2012. The Jamaican was looking to make history and win an unprecedented third gold medal in the 200m.

After having set the fastest time in the semi-finals the previous day, Bolt started in Lane 6 while his nearest competitor and 100m bronze medalist De Grasse of Canada started in Lane 4. Only Christophe Lemaitre and Churandy Martina were on the outside and ahead of him with the rest of the pack behind him.

200m Final – Starting list

  • Lane 1 – Ramil Guliyev (Turkey)
  • Lane 2 –  Adam Gemili (Great Britain)
  • Lane 3 – Alonso Edward (Panama)
  • Lane 4 – Andre De Grasse (Canada)
  • Lane 5 – Lashawn Merritt (USA)
  • Lane 6 – Usain Bolt (Jamaica)*
  • Lane 7 – Christophe Lemaitre (France)
  • Lane 8 – Churandy Martina (Netherlands)

*Fastest time in the semi-final

The track conditions were not exactly ideal after the rain but it had completely stopped raining by the time the race was set to start. The Olympic Stadium in Rio was almost packed to the rafters with the biggest cheer reserved for Bolt. 

It was a perfect start for the Jamaican and he reeled in both Lemaitre and Martina in no time. By the time they were halfway through the curve, Bolt was already in front. With the final 100 metres to go – Bolt switched gears and raced away from the chasing pack.

In the final 50 metres, there was no question that everyone else was only competing for the silver medal. But this time, Bolt did not ease off and was really putting in an effort to finish as fast as possible.

Bolt crossed the line first with a time of 19.78 seconds – exactly the same time with which he finished the semi-final and the only athlete to finish with a sub-20 second time. De Grasse finished second with a time of 20.02 seconds to give the 21-year-old a second medal in Rio.

Andre De Grasse 200m second
Canada’s Andre De Grasse finished second

Meanwhile, both the Frenchman Lemaitre and Great Britain’s Gemili finished with an official time of 20.12 seconds but it was Lemaitre who had finished ahead in a fraction of a second. Gemili shook his head in disbelief when the results came up on the big screen while Lemaitre, lying prone on the ground, couldn’t believe he had won a medal either before getting up to his feet and letting out a celebratory roar.

Ultimately, the night was all about Bolt and the sprint legend delivered on the big stage. As he took the Jamaican flag and took a lap of honour, there were mixed feelings of both joy and sorrow. The gold medal will make all his fans happy but we may never see him run in an individual event at the Olympics ever again. 

200m Final – Results

#CountryAthleteReaction Time (s)Time (s)
Usain Bolt
Andre De Grasse
Christophe Lemaitre
4Great Britain
Adam Gemili
Churandy Martina
Lashawn Merritt
Alonso Edward
Ramil Guliyev