Usain Bolt’s favorite race of the 2016 Rio Olympics went exactly as all the rest Thursday night.
The Jamaican again made it look easy, capturing his third-straight Olympic gold medal in the men’s 200-meter dash by a wide gap. He clocked a time of 19.78 seconds, slow for him, but nonetheless extending his dominance of the sprinting events with relative ease. He again sprinted out to the lead early and was never threatened.
Bolt has now won the 100-meter and 200-meter races in three Olympic Games in a row, although the 200 meters is what first earned him international recognition more than a decade ago. If Bolt wins the men’s 4×100-meter relay Friday and completes the “triple-triple” — winning three-straight gold medals in three events — he would match American Carl Lewis and Finland’s Paavo Nurmi for the most career Olympic gold medals in track and field (nine).
“I’m always happy for the win. That wasn’t the fastest time,” Bolt told NBC in a post-race interview. “I guess it’s just age and all the rounds have taken it’s toll. … I really wanted to go faster. I think it would’ve helped if I had somebody in front faster than me.”
Bolt took a lengthy victory lap around Olympic Stadium after his latest win. The crowd even began chanting “Usain Bolt” as the runner posed for selfies and did his signature pose toward the stands. This was his last individual event of these Games.