AFP: Usain Bolt insisted it was “mission accomplished” after signing off with a ‘treble-treble’ in his final Olympic race, predicting that his achievements may never be broken.
The world’s fastest man anchored Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team to gold on a balmy Rio night on Friday to capture the 100m, 200m and relay titles for a third straight Games.
“I hope I’ve set the bar high enough that no one can do it again,” said sprint king Bolt, a ninth Olympic gold medal safely in the bank.
“It’s a great feeling – I’ve worked so hard every Olympics to win three gold medals and I’m just so happy I’ve accomplished so much,” he added, admitting his Olympic farewell was tinged with a little sadness.
“I knew it was going to be done and I’m definitely going to miss the crowd and the energy, and I’m going to miss the competition.
“It’s just have mixed feelings now, but it’s been a great career. I’ll have to make a new bucket list now, I’ve achieved all I wanted to in track and field.”
Bolt, who has said he will retire after next year’s world championships in London, brought Jamaica home in 37.27 seconds ahead of surprise silver medallists Japan and Canada, promoted to third after the United States were disqualified.
He also made it a perfect nine wins out of nine Olympic finals he has contested, but confessed to feeling nervous before Nickel Ashmeade brought him the baton.
“I was just watching them and praying they didn’t mess up,” said Bolt, who turns 30 when the Rio Games close on Sunday.
“As soon as I got the baton, I knew I was going to win this one. There’s no one on the anchor leg going to out-run me. I told the guys: ‘don’t give me too much work to do!’
“It’s a relief because I’ve had all this pressure over the years to achieve gold medals, back-to-back all the time.”
Yohan Blake summed up his history-making team mate by saying: “Nine medals make Usain immortal. He’s more than the greatest.”
Bolt, who has now won an astonishing 20 Olympic and world titles, matched American sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis and Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi with nine Olympic golds.
Lewis won his between 1984 and 1996, while Nurmi racked up the same tally in the 1920s.
Bolt insisted all of his gold medals were special.
“They all mean the world to me,” he said. “It’s nine – all of them are special and they all came along at the right time.”
Bolt added: “I’ve proven to the world I’m the greatest so it’s mission accomplished, pretty much!”