This Day in History: Usain Bolt wins third Olympic 100m title

Four years ago, the legendary Usain Bolt made his final appearance at the Olympics, closing out the Rio Games with three gold medals across the sprints and sprint relay.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt celebrates as he wins the men’s 100m title at the Rio Olympics in 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria)

But it was his first medal of those Games that began the solidification of his status as one of, if not, the greatest athletes to have ever set foot on the track, sprinter or otherwise.

On this day, August 14, 2016, Bolt won his third consecutive Olympic 100m title, a feat unmatched by any other sprinter.

The winning time of 9.81 seconds was far from his best, the still-standing world record of 9.58 seconds set at the 2009 Beijing World Championships, but served as confirmation that he truly was the world’s greatest sprinter.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica competes in the Men’s 100 metre semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on August 14, 2016. (Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

In a year that saw Bolt deal with injury that set him some way off the usual superlative performances, the Jamaican churned out a season’s best performance in the final to defeat longtime rival American Justin Gatlin (9.89 seconds) and Canadian Andre De Grasse (9.91 seconds) for the title.

Throughout the rounds, the Sherwood Content, Trelawny native showed why he was always feared at the start line; because regardless of performances leading up to a major championship, ‘Lightning’ always struck when needed most.

Bolt retired after 2017 World Championships in London as an eight-time Olympic and 11-time World Champion and world record holder over the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.

Relive the moment below: