Usain Bolt secured the legendary status he craved by becoming the first man ever to win the Olympic sprint double twice in succession.
While millions would already consider Bolt a legend for winning triple gold in Beijing and defending his 100m title in London, the Jamaican insisted he also had to retain his 200m title to achieve such status.
“This is what I wanted and I got it,” Bolt said. “I’m very proud of myself. I had a rough season, I came out here and I did what I had to do.
“We’ve been working hard all season. We pushed ourselves, we pushed each other and we’re happy.”
The 25-year-old had an imperious performance, leading a Jamaican clean sweep ahead of 100m silver medallist Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, both of whom are just 22.
Bolt’s winning time of 19.32 seconds was outside his own world record of 19.19s, which he felt might be a possibility.
“I think it was possible but I guess I wasn’t fit enough. I was fast but I wasn’t fit enough. I came off the corner, I could feel the strain on my back a little bit so I was trying to keep my form, but I stopped running because I knew it wasn’t going to be a world record. When I came off the corner I could feel it.
“It was hard. I really dedicated [myself] to my work, I know what London meant to me. I came here and I gave it my all and I’m proud of myself. I didn’t get a world record – I really wanted to do it in the 200m – but I’m happy.”
Blake said: “Usain Bolt has been motivating me all season. Everything has been going good so far.”
Third-placed Weir added: “It’s a great honour to come here and do what the country wanted, to get the top three.”