Usain Bolt became the first man to retain both Olympic sprint titles as he led home a gold and green Jamaica clean sweep in the 200m.
Bolt matched Michael Johnson’s world record time from the Atlanta Games of 19.32 seconds as he held off training partner Yohan Blake in silver and Warren Weir in bronze.
Blake had beaten Bolt at the Jamaican trials, his last race over the distance before London, but the double 100m champion ran a brilliant bend from lane seven to lead by a metre coming into the straight.
Glancing to his left he was aware of Blake closing in a fraction at 150m, but held his form to cross the line with finger to his lips.
Blake’s 19.44 secs was a season’s best, while 22-year-old Weir set a new personal best with 19.84 secs to complete the Jamaican party.
But this was Bolt’s race, and these have once again been Bolt’s Games. On a warm, still summer evening perfect for sprinting, Bolt had clowned around as he waited to be called to his blocks, as ever a study in easy relaxation despite the magnitude of the occasion.
He flirted with the girl looking after his kit and then gave a regal wave before taking his rivals apart from the moment the gun sounded.
Four years ago in Beijing he won his first Olympic 200m gold in a then world record of 19.30 secs. While there was no new mark on Thursday evening, this was a display to rank among the best the event Bolt calls his own has ever seen.