Usain Bolt knelt down to kiss the finish line goodbye as he greeted an emotional eighth Olympic title with a mixture of frustration and relief in Rio.
The Jamaican reacted with anger at failing to challenge his world record of 19.19 seconds as he raced to 200 metres gold in tough conditions.
He flew round the bend, but appeared to tie up down the home straight and finished in 19.78secs.
Canada’s Andre de Grasse took silver in 20.02s, while France’s Christophe Lemaitre edged out Great Britain’s Adam Gemili for bronze in agonising fashion, with both men given the same time of 20.12.
Bolt was never in danger of being caught, but his anger at not going quicker was clear for all to see as he crossed the line and looked at the clock. He roared, disappointment etched on his face.
“I wanted to run a faster time,” he said. “I knew it was going to be hard to break the record, but when I came out of the corner my legs decided, ‘Listen, we’re not going to go any faster’. I wasn’t fully happy, but I’m happy that I got the gold medal.”
He recovered to lap up the acclaim as he celebrated, draped in a Jamaican flag.
Bolt bent down to kiss the finish line in lane six, his lane, as he completed his lap of honour before performing his signature ‘Lightning Bolt’ pose, to huge cheers.
“I was just saying goodbye, this is my last individual event at the Olympics,” he said. “In relays you never knows what happens, so I just wanted to say goodbye.”
The three-time 100m and 200m champion is now just one 4x100m relay run away from his Olympic ‘triple triple’ – and, in his own words, sporting immortality.
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