RIO DE JANEIRO: Usain Bolt made Olympic history by completing an unprecedented ‘triple-triple’ of nine sprint gold medals from Beijing 2008, London 2012 and now Rio 2016.
The Jamaican Bolt ran the final leg in the men’s 4x100m relay to help his team and coungtry take gold – his ninth Olympic gold medal from nine attempts.
Bolt said afterwards: “There you go, I’m the greatest. I’m going to stay up late and have fun. I never knew this would happen when I started out.”
Bolt becomes the second most successful Olympian of all time across all sports. Only American swimmer Michael Phelps, who has 23 gold medals, is ahead of him.
Reflecting on the fact that Rio 2016 was his final Olympic Games, Bolt told Brazilian television he had mixed emotions and thanked Brazilians for their support.
“I’m sad but I’m happy too,” he said. “It’s been wonderful and I really appreciate you guys, it’s been nothing but love, it gives me goosebumps. That’s for all your support.”
Jamaica still had a lot to do when Bolt was passed the baton but he exploded into top gear to blow away surprise silver medallists Japan and bronze medallists Canada.
Bolt, who has incredibly now won the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m at three consecutive Olympic Games, celebrated in typical style.
Japan were second and Canada placed third, promoted after the United States were disqualified for a track-change infraction.
Earlier in the evening, Vivian Jepkemoi Cheruiyot of Kenya won the women’s 5000m final.
Cheruiyot also set an Olympic record of 14:26.17 in the process.
The US won the women’s 4x100m relay, which meant gold medals for English Gardner, Allyson Felix, Tianna Bartoletta and Tori Bowie.
Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece won gold in the women’s pole vault with a height of 4.85m and Dilshod Nazarov won the men’s hammer throw to give Tajikistan their first medal of Rio 2016 and their first ever Olympic gold