Widely considered the greatest sprinter of all time, over 100 and 200 metres, Jamaican Usain Bolt, who announced his retirement from athletics in August, 2017, requires little introduction. Individually, he won gold medals in both the 100-metre and 200-metre events at three consecutive Olympics – Beijing in 2008, London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 – and still holds world records at both distances.
On May 3, 2008, at the Jamaica International Invitation in Kingston, Jamaica, Bolt posted a winning time of 9.76 seconds, just 0.02 seconds slower than the existing world record, 9.74 seconds, set by compatriot Asafa Powell in Rieti, Italy the previous September. Four weeks later, at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, USA, on May 31, 2008, Bolt broke the 100-metre world record for the first time, defeating reigning world champion Tyson Gay in a time of 9.72 seconds.
Less than three months later, in the 100-metre final at the Beijing Olympics on August 16, 2008, broke the world record again, winning in a time of 9.69 seconds, despite raising his arms in celebration 20 metres before the line when well ahead. A year to the day later, Bolt faced Tyson Gay again in the 100-metre final at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin, Germany, advertised locally as ‘Das Duell’. Tyson clocked 9.71 seconds but, even so, finished nowhere near Bolt, who crossed the line in 9.58 seconds, taking 0.11 seconds off his previous world record.