Usain Bolt Wins Gold in 200M Despite Missing World Record

The Jamaican legend continues his incredible run on the track in Rio

Bolt may have won the gold. But when he looked up on the board and saw a winning time of 19:78, he snarled and snapped his hand. “I was disappointed,” says Bolt. “My legs didn’t respond. It’s just one of those things. I’m getting older. I don’t recover like I usually do.”

Only Usain Bolt can win an eighth straight gold medal, in eight races, and still not meet expectations. Bolt didn’t stay bummed for long. He took his typical victory lap as the crowd chanted, “Us-ain Bolt! Us-ain Bolt!,” as if he were Pele. He even draped a Brazilian flag over his right shoulder, to go with the Jamaican flag over his left. He flashed the lighting bolt. “I wasn’t fully happy,” says Bolt. “But I was happy that I won a gold medal.”

He kissed the finish line, in what was his last individual race at an Olympics. “I just wanted to say goodbye,” Bolt says.

Bolt has always been overwhelmingly confident in the 200, a less glitzy race than the fastest ten-seconds in sports, the 100-m. It’s an ideal distance for him. If he gets off to a slow start, the race is long enough that his long legs can start churning, enabling him to fly past the field. But it’s not too long. Bolt’s not a fan of endurance tests, as he’s long resisted the urging of his coach, Glen Mills, to give the 400-m a try.