Jamaican sprint superstar Usain Bolt on Sunday night became the first Olympic sprinter to win three successive 100-meter gold medals.
He emerged victorious in his grudge match against American Justin Gatlin to win the gold medal, running the track in 9.81 seconds.
Gatlin, who finished in 9.89 seconds, took home the silver medal while Andre De Grasse of Canada nabbed the bronze.
It was an epic sprint for the line and midway Gatlin appeared to have got the better of Bolt.
But Bolt picked up, ran first over the line and didn’t stop to shake hands with his bitter rival as he continued running for another 100 yards, giving Gatlin the ultimate cold shoulder.
It was the race the planet tuned into see and Bolt ensured he was crowned the fastest man in the world at three straight Olympics.
Bolt is now just two races away from completing the ‘triple triple’ and winning three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
‘Somebody said I can become immortal,’ Bolt said after the race on Sunday. ‘Two more medals to go and I can sign off. Immortal.’
He grabbed his national flag and cheered and smiled back at his loving audience, soaking up their roaring cheers and applause.
Gatlin had been widely booed as he entered the track, but at the end still grabbed the Stars and Stripes and draped it over his shoulders for his own victory lap.
‘We work 365 days a year to be here for nine seconds,’ Gatlin said after winning his third Olympic medal. ‘At the age of 34, to race these young guys and still make the podium feels so good.’
‘That was for my son. If he’s watching…I love you, son.’
The race was billed as an epic head-to-head between Bolt and Gatlin, who has one Olympic gold medal and a career racked with drug controversy.