Usain Bolt: Unprecedented Double-Double Leaves No Doubt He's Best Sprinter Ever

Noah JampolFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2012

Usain Bolt has nothing left to prove. The title of history's greatest sprinter is his. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. 

Facing his toughest challenge yet in the Olympic 200-meter-dash final, Bolt did what he always does.

He dazzled us and left us lost for words with another spectacular victory. His 19.32-second clocking was more than enough to top rival Yohan Blake's 19.44-second run.

With his latest triumph, Bolt cemented his place in history as the first athlete ever to win the vaunted 100-200 sprint double in consecutive Olympics.

The road to this point almost seemed too easy for the great Jamaican, but the last race was, without a doubt, the most challenging test of all.

For all intents and purposes, there was only one competitor that mattered. Running in the race was his talented and hungry Jamaican teammate, Yohan Blake. They were meeting in Blake's best distance, an event in which he is the second-fastest man of all time. You can guess who was and is the fastest.

Blake had the inside lane, which couldn't have been more apt than in this instance. There's never been a bigger target planted on someone's back than the one on Bolt's 6'5'' frame. It only made sense that if Blake were to trump him, it would be by chasing down a legend.

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So when Blake came off the turn with a slight deficit and everything in the world to gain, Bolt's true test began. In June, Bolt's younger teammate, "The Beast," had run him down in this exact scenario.

Now, a couple of months later, Blake had everything to run for and very little to lose. Were he to beat Bolt, he would immediately skyrocket to worldwide fame and become an Olympic great at the age of 22. A loss meant merely another commendable silver with plenty of time to reach the mountaintop.

The 4x100-meter relay on which they team up loomed as a welcome consolation for Blake.

Meanwhile, Bolt's spotless Olympic record was in a world of danger. He was three-for-three with either a world record or a top-five mark all-time in each golden performance. That was his legacy, until now.

As Blake stormed through the homestretch fiercely fixed on glory, Bolt's superiority and dominance faced its most daunting challenge.

But like every time before, when Bolt looked for something in reserve, he wasn't left wanting. In the last 100 meters, he had more than enough. He held off Blake and separated himself from everyone who has come before him. At the race's most pivotal point, there was no doubt who was the best.

The time was exemplary, a 19.32 that is fifth best ever, but Bolt didn't even bother to lean or run his hardest through the line.

It was as if he was reaffirming the obvious to everyone watching—this one was about the win. It was about how history will remember him.

And there is no ambiguity about it. Only one man sits atop the throne as the greatest of all time.

Jesse Owens' Berlin Olympics changed the world. Carl Lewis was a great champion and maybe the best track-and-field athlete ever when factoring in his prolific long-jumping ability. Michael Johnson was an electrifying long-sprinter who elevated 200- and 400-meter running to new heights. 

None of them could accomplish what Bolt did and complete a sprint double in consecutive Olympics. He is in a class all his own.

The numbers behind his accomplishment are staggering. Each race Bolt has run in the Olympics has only been bettered by himself at the Games. His closest margin of victory in each of his wins is .12 seconds. 

In this Olympics run, there has never been a race with a photo finish or any real uncertainty that he's won. He's done it all in an era when every single one of the next five fastest 100-meter runners in history has been around to challenge him.

That competition reached its highest point in London with an ascendant Yohan Blake trying to make his own history.

In the end, it was no contest. There is only one man who reigns as the undisputed king of sprinting.

There is only one Usain Bolt.

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