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“Still, Bolt's time was exactly the same as three-time individual Olympic gold medalist Michael Johnson's when the American set the then-record at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics: 19.32. Back then, the thinking was that would stand as the mark for decades. As it is, that number lasted a dozen years. Then along came Bolt. His 19.30 in the 200 final at Beijing still stands as the Olympic record -- and certainly would have been eclipsed Thursday with a full-fledged sprint through the finish -- but Bolt bettered that with a 19.19 at the 2009 world championships, where he also set the current 100 record. Now he'll try to make it 6 for 6 over the last two Olympics in the 4x100-meter relay, where Jamaica can't count on the injured Asafa Powell, the former world-record holder in the 100 and the anchor man in 2008. Still, with Bolt, Blake and Weir presumably on the squad, there's no question who will be favored. Qualifying starts Friday; the final is Saturday. "Usain Bolt is truly an inspiration to everybody across the world," Weir said. "And I must say, it's well-deserved." Is Bolt the best of his era? No doubt about it. Best ever? That's subjective, of course, and fodder for talk-radio drive time. But it's awfully tough to argue against Bolt's bona fides, his titles and his times. There was one world record established at 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium on Thursday: David Rudisha of Kenya won the 800 meters in 1 minute, 40.91 seconds, improving his own standard by 0.10. Jamaica is tied for second with nine track medals after Thursday -- four from Bolt and Blake. When that pair returned to collect their prizes and hear their national anthem once again, Bolt did his now-customary leap up to the top step of the podium. He kissed his medal, then bit it. Bolt's a playful sort, someone who likes to run fast races, drive fast cars (he's been at the wheel for some minor accidents in Jamaica), eat fast food (he copped to grabbing meals of chicken nuggets in Beijing, and wrap sandwiches in London, all from a famous chain restaurant). Before Thursday's victory, Bolt was wearing a backward yellow baseball cap with a black interlocking "UB," and he added a special British-flavored touch to all his prerace preening, holding a hand aloft for a simple royal wave. Then he curled his arms, first one, then the other, pretending he was lifting barbells, and looked right at a TV camera. As ever, ready for his close-up.
I've done something that no one has done before, which is defend my double title. Back-to-back for me. I would say I'm the greatest.” -- Usain Bolt