Usain Bolt breaks 100 metres world record
Jamaica's Usain Bolt scorched to Olympic 100 metres gold on Saturday, opening his arms wide in celebration 20 metres from the line before clocking a world record 9.69 seconds. See Special | A pace odysseyUpdated: Aug 17, 2008 11:43 IST
Usain Bolt of Jamaica won the men's 100 metres Olympic title in Beijing on Saturday in a new world record time of 9.69 seconds.
The 21-year-old, who becomes the first Jamaican to win the Olympic 100m crown, beat home Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago (9.89secs) while Walter Dix of the United States was third in a time of 9.91 secs.
"I felt the world record earlier on," said Bolt. "I came here just to win and I did just that. I didn't even know I'd broken the world record until I did my victory lap.
"Now I'm just concentrating on my two races coming up. I came here prepared and I'm going to try and do it the (100 and 200m double)."
Bolt's compatriot and former world record holder Asafa Powell came fifth as six of the eight finalists finished under 10 seconds, a record for the Olympic final, which also equalled the 1991 world final in Tokyo when six men also dipped under the 10 second barrier.
Powell, who again failed on the big stage, paid handsome tribute to his compatriot who could well go on and add the 200m title later in the Games.
"He is the best ever sprinter and I've said that before," said the 25-year-old.
"He has run 9.69 and got the gold so he is definitely the greatest. It was a spectacular performance and he was definitely the best here. He could have run faster if he had run straight through the line."
Powell admitted he had run out of steam.
"I was feeling good but I didn't feel it in my legs. They died on me."
Bolt, who bettered compatriot Don Quarrie's silver medal from the 1976 Olympics, was headed by Thompson for the first part of the race but there was no contest once he got into his stride and went clear away from the field.
So commanding was his lead he eased up well before the line and held out his hands in celebration.
Behind him Thompson showed the same impressive form the 23-year-old had displayed during the earlier heats to hold on to second.
Dix, also an Olympic debutant, came on strong in the final metres to overhaul Powell, who lost out on fourth place to surprise package Churandy Martina of the Dutch Antilles.
World champion Tyson Gay, out of action for just over a month after suffering a hamstring injury before the Olympics, exited in the semi-finals earlier on Saturday, when he finished fifth.