Usain Bolt 100m Rio Olympics
Usain Bolt crosses the finish line in first in the men's 100m at the Rio OlympicsReuters

The man is unbelievable, just plain unbelievable. There is no way Usain Bolt can be termed human. He got off to a bad start again, Justin Gatlin got off to a great one, and then the acceleration came and the manner in which he eased past everyone on the field was a thing of beauty.

The legend wrote the history books in Rio in the only way he can, with such ridiculous ease that it was funny to even think that there might have been any doubt over the great man's form, fitness or anything else.

Usain Bolt is the men's 100m Olympic champion for the third consecutive Games, after a run of such wonder and comfort that not Gatlin, not Yohan Blake, not Ben Youssef Meite, not Andre de Grasse was even going to come close to stopping him.

In the end, it wasn't even a competition, Bolt was celebrating before he crossed the line, much like he did in Beijing and much to the delight of the capacity crowd at the Olympic Stadium in Rio too.

All the Rio Olympics stories you need in one place

Just in case you're wondering – Bolt crossed the line in 9.81 seconds, well ahead of Gatlin (9.89s) who took the silver, with Canada's De Grasse, the youngest runner on the field at 21-years-old, taking the bronze after finishing with a personal best time of 9.91 seconds, a time which took a medal away from Blake, who timed 9.93s. Akani Simbine (9.94s), Meite (9.96s), Jimmy Vicaut (10.04s) and Trayvon Bromell (10.06s) followed the top four home.

Before the start of the race, as each athlete walked onto the track following an introduction, Gatlin was welcomed to the stadium by boos, Bolt by the biggest of possible cheers – it was clear who the crowd was rooting for (not that there was ever any doubt).

From there, the showman of athletics, the man who lives for the spotlight and thrives in it too, took over. He played with the crowd a little more as his name was announced on the starting line, and then it was down to business. This is what makes Bolt so great, he backs up his antics, his playfulness, his words with results on the field.

Usain Bolt Rio Olympics 100m
Usain Bolt with hi trademark celebration after clinching his third consecutive Olympic 100m titleReuters

The start, as expected, was a problem for Bolt, and he was at the back of the pack in the first 40-50m. Then those powerful arms and legs of his started working, you could see the strain in his body as he used every bit of his muscles to draw him closer to Gatlin and the pacesetters. Once he did that, the question was if he could stay there, and the answer was an emphatic no.

Bolt had no plans of making this race a contest. Once he caught up with Gatlin, a couple of long strides is all it took for the Jamaican to pull clear, with such ridiculous ease that you could barely believe it, even though you had seen him do this time and again in the past. With a couple of metres to go, Bolt looked to his left, knowing he had won the race, before thumping his chest as the Jamaican, for the third consecutive Games, won the gold medal in the marquee event of the Olympics.

The celebrations began from there, with Bolt going to the Jamaican contingent to take a few photos, while he showed why he is so respected, finding Wayde Van Niekerk to give him his congratulations, after the South African had broken Michael Johnson's 400m world record a few minutes earlier – Bolt is the one who broke Johnson's 200m world mark.

As good as Van Niekerk, and Kirani James and Lashawn Merritt, who all dipped under 44s in an incredible 400m run, were though, this night was about Bolt and his near unimaginable brilliance.

Also read