As the king of sprinting and the biggest global star at the Rio Games, Usain Bolt of Jamaica held aloft his index finger, signaling that he was No. 1, during introductions Sunday night as a smitten crowd chanted his name.
Then Bolt proved it again, winning the 100 meters in 9.81 seconds, a coronation that secured his place as the greatest sprinter of all time. He is the only man or woman to win the Olympic 100 three times, which he accomplished at three consecutive Games.
His main rival, Justin Gatlin of the United States, the 2004 Olympic champion who later served a suspension for doping and was booed on Sunday, took the silver medal in 9.89 seconds. Andre De Grasse of Canada won the bronze in 9.91.
As the exuberant Bolt ran down Gatlin in the final 40 meters, he pounded his chest. He then blew kisses to the crowd, hugged some spectators and carried a toy Olympic mascot around the track before giving it away.
Finally, Bolt struck his signature pose, known as To Di World, cocking an elbow and aiming his fingers toward the sky, as if launching an arrow or a lightning bolt.
He is also favored to win a third straight gold medal at 200 meters in Rio and yet another as the most vital member of Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay team.
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