Usain Bolt Secures Status as Greatest Sprinter Ever with Epic 100-Meter Gold

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Men's 100m Final on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 5, 2012 in London, England.(Photo by Julia Vynokurova/Getty Images)
Julia Vynokurova/Getty Images

Usain Bolt is the greatest sprinter since the invention of running. This conclusion became unavoidable after his amazing, and highly-anticipated, gold-medal run in the 100 meters of the 2012 Olympics

With a stacked field, Bolt turned out a blistering time of 9.63 seconds. This put him comfortably ahead of fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, who finished second with a time of 9.75. 

This was Bolt's second-straight Olympics gold in the 100—a feat that only he and Carl Lewis have accomplished. Lewis accomplished his in 1984 and 1988, but in '88 Lewis didn't even finish first in his heat. He was behind Canadian Ben Johnson, who later had his medal stripped from him after a positive drug test. 

Bolt has won both of his Olympics 100s going away. 

He took the 100 gold in Beijing in his coming-out year of 2008. He had previously set the world record in the event, and lowered that record in the Olympics by running an eye-popping 9.69. That was a race he had so well in hand that he coasted the last 10 meters.

Bolt did lower his Olympic record in Sunday's run, but just missed out on setting a new world record as he couldn't catch the insane 9.58 he posted in 2009. 

That resume right there is enough to warrant him consideration as the greatest sprinter ever as the 100 is widely considered the ultimate showcase for pure speed, but let us not forget about Bolt's performances in the 200. 

He is even more dominant in the 200. Bolt owns the world record in the 200 at a hard-to-fathom 19.19 seconds. That time bettered his gold-medal time in the 200 in Beijing. 

It is pretty clear that when it comes to these events Bolt is only really competing against himself, and after watching him the 100, there is little doubt he will defend his title in 200.

This will give him the completely unprecedented back-to-back double golds in these showcase events. Lewis narrowly missed out on the feat by winning gold in the 200 in 1984, but silver in 1988. 

This isn't just about the medals, either. Lewis did not raise the bar as high as Bolt has. Lewis set the world record a few times in the 100, but not in the same way Bolt has.

Lewis last set the world record in 1991 with a time of 9.86. That was just a .09 improvement over a record run made by Jim Hines in 1968. That record fell numerous times before 1991, but it is just mentioned as a point of comparison. Before Bolt set his first record in the 100, the best time was by Asafa Powell at 9.77 in 2006. Bolt's best is almost .2 better than that, and it was done just three years later. 

When it comes to sprinting, Usain Bolt has an unrivaled claim to being called the greatest ever.