Usain Bolt.

Usain Bolt explains why he couldn't break world record in 200m Olympic final

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When Usain Bolt crossed the line in the 200m final last night, he did so well ahead of all seven other athletes in the race.

But, despite being a full 0.24 seconds ahead of the second placed Andre De Grasse of Canada, the Jamaican was visibly frustrated as he looked across to check his own time - 19.78 seconds.

That's because, heading into the final, Bolt had aspirations of breaking his own 19.19 world record in front of the Rio crowd. Speaking to the BBC after the event, the now eight-time Olympic gold medallist attempted to explain just why that wasn't possible on Thursday night.


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As it turns out, a combination of fatigue and father time put pay to his grand ambitions.

"I wasn't happy with the time," Bolt told the BBC's Phil Jones. "I ran hard off the turn, but when I came into the straight my body would not respond to me.

"It's just the rounds, I'm getting older. I'm not as young and fresh. But it is just one of those things."

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In reality, while Bolt may have entered the race hoping to eclipse the time he set in 2009, the 29-year-old's winning time was actually the slowest to he's ever run to claim a major 200m title.

“I wanted to run a faster time,” said Bolt, via The Boston Globe. “I knew it was going to be hard to break the world record. I could tell by my legs.

"But when I came off the corner, my legs decided, ‘Listen, we’re not going to go any faster,’ I wasn’t fully happy, but I’m happy that I got the gold medal.”

The sprint icon can still take solace in the fact that, on a night when light rain made fast times virtually impossible anyway, he was the only one of the finalists to go sub-20 seconds.

Nevertheless, with Bolt all but confirming in the aftermath of the final that it was to be his final 200m race in competition, you can understand why he was a little frustrated not to end on a world record high.

Reason to celebrate

Still, extending his legacy with a third successive Olympic 100 and 200m double isn't a bad way to make up for it.

And, with the chance of gold in the 4x100m relay still to come, Bolt remains on course to complete a truly historic triple-triple of Olympic gold medals.


Father time may have caught up with him to prevent a world record time last night, but, thankfully for the Jamaican and his fans, the rest of his competitors still trail some way behind.

Is Usain Bolt the greatest Olympian of all time? Who's better? Have your say in the comments below...

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