Bolt crosses the finish line with a chest-pumping victory

By Cynthia Wang
Updated August 16, 2008 02:00 PM
Credit: Oliver Multhaup/AP

With America s Tyson Gay out of the 100-meter dash and teammate Asafa Powell his only major rival, Jamaica s Usain Bolt was going to make like his name and explode off the blocks.

And what would his time be if he didn t take a split second to do a chest pump before crossing the finish line?

Bolt ran 100 meters in a staggering 9.69 seconds, making him the fastest man on Earth. He bested his own world record mark of 9.72 seconds, which he set in New York just two months ago.

I am going to celebrate this, Bolt said after the race. I want to say, I came here to prove I am the best. I have trained for years for this and prepared for this.

Earlier in the night, the race lost some competitive heat when Tyson Gay failed to qualify after a disappointing semifinal. “Toward the finish line I couldn’t tell if I made it to the finals or not, Gay said afterward. I looked up there and realized I didn’t. It was kind of devastating.

Gay s absence left the door wide open for Bolt. When I get back to the Village, Gay said, it’s really probably going to set in.

But not all was lost for the USA — Walter Dix of Tallahassee, Fla., won bronze with a personal best of 9.91 seconds. I m glad to be on that podium for America, Dix said. Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago came in second.