Rio de Janeiro: Usain Bolt wrote another chapter of improbable Olympic history with a third consecutive 200m crown on Thursday as Ashton Eaton led an American gold rush by clinching back-to-back decathlon titles.
Bolt, who just days earlier had become the first man in history to win three 100m titles in a row, surged to victory in the 200m in 19.78sec at the Olympic Stadium.
Canada´s Andre De Grasse took silver in 20.02sec, just ahead of France´s Christophe Lemaitre, who nicked bronze in 20.12.
Bolt´s triumph was greeted with rapturous applause by Brazilian fans who roared their appreciation as the sprint superstar set off on a lap of honour, with Bob Marley booming from stadium speakers.
The win left the 29-year-old Bolt just one win away from his targeted “triple triple” — a repeat of his sweep of 100m, 200m and 4x100m golds at the 2008 and 2012 Games.
“No, I can´t grasp what I´ve achieved, definitely not,” said Bolt. “You work so hard for years and then you just hope it pays off. It is a brilliant feeling.
“I´m getting older and my body is ageing. Personally I think this is my last 200 but my coach may beg to differ.”
Bolt will attempt to put the seal on what he says is his final Olympics in Friday´s 4×100 relay.