Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt made no mistakes Saturday as he produced a world class display to retain his 200-meter title at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Bolt banished the disappointment of his false-start ejection from last weekend’s 100-meter final as he stormed to victory in 19.40 seconds, the fourth fastest run in history.
"I feel great. I’m still the best," Bolt told AFP as he wrapped himself in the Jamaican flag. "There wasn’t really a point to prove. I came here and did what I had to do. There wasn’t really big pressure at the start. I was a bit nervous but I always am. All I had to do was sit and wait at the start."
Although slowest out of the blocks, Bolt emerged as the clear leader following the bend and unlike the heats, where he coasted in the final stages, he refused to relax his stride before diving across the line to take gold.
"I decided ‘why not come out and run as hard as possible?’ I ran a good corner and I could have run much faster," he said. "Without a doubt I can keep on delivering. I made a mistake in the 100-meter but I would have won it."
The track superstar, who holds world records in both the sprint distances, relinquished his world championship title to his Jamaican training mate Yohan Blake following his shock disqualification in last Sunday’s final.
The drive to catch Bolt in the 200-meter final drew personal bests from America’s Walter Dix and France’s Christophe Lemaitre on Saturday. Dix took silver in 19.70 seconds ahead of Lemaitre, who claimed bronze in 19.80 seconds. Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure also went under 20 seconds.
Dix said he would continue to work to chase down the fastest sprinter in history ahead of the Olympics in London next year.
"I wanted to bring the USA the gold but it wasn’t to be and I had to console myself with silver," he said. "[Bolt] was just too strong. He and Lemaitre both ran great races and I have a lot of work to do, which I will do now when I go back home."
Bolt has bettered 19.40 seconds just twice before. American track legend Michael Johnson is the only other sprinter to have gone faster than his time Saturday.