He is the only Olympian who could have an entire stadium chanting his name.
Usain Bolt’s position as the greatest sprinter in the world was confirmed once again on a wet, humid night inside Rio’s Olympic Stadium, as he took 200 meters gold for the third Games in succession.
The time was nothing special by the Jamaican’s standards, 19.78 seconds, but his ability to deliver with the world watching shows he deserves to be ranked among the true greats of sport.
And he knows it.
I don’t need to prove anything else. What else can I do to prove to the world I am the greatest?” the 29-year-old said after winning his eighth Olympic title.
“I am trying to be one of the greatest. Be among Muhammad Ali and Pele,” he added.
“I hope after these Games I will be in that bracket.”
Since exploding onto the global scene in 2008, breaking world records over 100m and 200m, Bolt has made a habit of making victory look easy, coasting across the finish line and soaking in the adulation of the crowd.
Not on Thursday. Bolt was straining every sinew of his 6 foot 5 inch frame as he streaked away from the field. Canada’s Andre de Grasse and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre were nowhere near the champion in second and third respectively.