"Unreal," proclaimed ESPN. Usain Bolt on Sunday won an unprecedented third Olympic gold in the 100 meters, defeating Justin Gatlin of the US by .08 seconds. Bolt became the first person (man or woman, notes the New York Times) to win three straight Olympic 100-meter titles, blowing down the straightaway in 9.81 seconds for his seventh overall Olympic gold. American Justin Gatlin, Bolt's closest pursuer over the past four years, finished second, .08 seconds behind. Andre de Grasse of Canada won the bronze, reports the AP. The fastest Bolt has ever run the 100 meters is a world-record time of 9.58.
Bolt came into the Olympics not having run a 100 since June 30, when he pulled out of Jamaican national championships with a bad left hamstring. The rehab began immediately, and on a muggy Sunday night in Rio, the shining star of track and field showed no signs of distress. After a typically clunky burst out of the starting block, he started pulling away from Gatlin with about 30 meters left. "As we’ve seen so many times before in major finals, his rivals were tightening up and Bolt was flowing," observes the Guardian. He's not done. Qualifying for the men's 200, his favorite race, starts Tuesday, with the relay on Friday. The Times reports one of his big remaining goals is to break the 19-second mark in the 200 meters; his world-record time is 19.19. He's won all but five of his 74 races since 2008.