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Report: World Athletics Championships 2013

Usain Bolt wins 100 metres world title

Usain Bolt after winning the men's 100 metres final in Moscow
Usain Bolt after winning the men's 100 metres final in Moscow Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach
Text by: Paul Myers in Moscow
4 min

Always the entertainer, Usain Bolt pretended to hold an an umbrella when his name was announced to a rain soaked Luzhniki stadium just before the start of the 100 metres final. The crowd adored it and roared in their approval. They loved it even more when Bolt stormed his way to his second world championship over 100 metres.


Bolt’s 9.77 seconds was the fastest time of the season. Justin Gatlin, who’d beaten the Jamaican in their duel at the Diamond League meeting in Rome in June, was second with 9.85 and Bolt’s compatriot Nesta Carter was third.

It was redemption for Bolt who was disqualified in the 100 metres final in Daegu in South Korea two years ago. And it was important for the sport which has been bogged down in drugs scandals in the prelude to the championships.

The 26-year-old Jamaican revealed after the race that reclaiming the world crown had been one of his objectives since becoming the first man last year in London to win back to back 100 and 200 metres titles at successive Olympic Games.

Dossier: IAAF World Championships

“I get my drive from making my own goals,” he said. “When I started track and field, my first goal was to win a 200 metres Olympic medal. Then I made a different goal which was to go out there and break some world records. Then I’ve just continued making goals over the years. I continue making harder goals so that I have to work harder to get to them. That’s the thing that keeps me going.”

The realisation of those dreams has made Bolt into a global phenomenon. He is Mr Athletics.

Undoubtedly, his antic disposition and squeaky clean profile riles some but to the promoters at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) he is a godsend. Especially when doping bans sully the sport.

Sergey Bubka, the pole vaulter turned administrator admitted as much. “He’s a star,” the IAAF vice-president said. “I remember when I saw him for the first time in 2002 at the world junior championships in Kingston . Even then you could see personality. I realised that this was a special person.

“He’s not only a fantastic athlete but he brings spirit and he establishes an excellent relation with the crowd and the crowd likes it. Kids like it. And when you have champions like this you can really highlight sports and you can bring younger generations to sports.”

After achieving his ‘double double’, Bolt anointed himself a living legend. Jacques Rogge, the president of the IOC, took exception to the athlete’s lordly self-analysis, saying that such grandiose pronouncements should wait until after a career has finished. But the Jamaican then expressed the new world order.

"What else do I need to do to prove myself as a legend? I've won both events twice at the Olympics. I've won world championship gold medals. I've broken world records many times so I don't know what else to do really.” Bolt told journalists: “When next time you see him [Rogge] I think you should ask him what Usain needs to do because I don't know what else to do really."

Since then, Rogge hasn't uttered a word publically. And Usain’s done gold again. It simply seems that’s his thing.

Gatlin had spoken about ending Bolt’s thing. There seemed to be credibility to his posturing that the Jamaican could be unhinged especially after his victory in Rome . But a Diamond League meeting is not a major championship and the creature that is Usain St Leo Bolt becomes a beast when it smells gold.

“I’m a competitor at heart,” Gatlin declared. “And he [Bolt] is definitely a showman, you know, he’s a gamer and he’s the best out there. It’s always an honour to race against him because not only does he produce the best, he brings the best out of you so it’s always an honour to race against somebody like that.

“If you’re going to be beaten, be beaten by the best. I’ve always said that.”

Nobody does it better than Bolt at the moment. King anew of the testosterone packed circle that is men’s 100 metres sprinting, Bolt will turn his gaze to the defence of his 200 metres title.

Double Olympic champion, double world champion; for a man doing his thing, it certainly has a ring.

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