Usain Bolt silenced the doubters, the Jamaican sensation retaining his men's 100 metres title in the fastest race in Olympic history, at the Olympic Stadium, here in London, England, yesterday.
Bolt not only broke his own Olympic record with a 9.63 seconds blinder, but he led the way as seven men dived under 10 seconds.
"I have to defend my 200 metres title also," Bolt said, after the race, "and then I'll consider myself a legend. This is one step."
Trinidad and Tobago's Richard "Torpedo" Thompson was among the seven sub-10 finalists, the 2008 silver medallist finishing seventh this time in 9.98 seconds.
On a cool night in the English capital, Bolt dominated his rivals, sending the packed stadium into a frenzy with his dazzling run.
Jamaica's reigning world champion, Yohan Blake earned silver in 9.75 seconds, forcing 2004 Olympic gold medallist Justin Gatlin to settle for bronze in 9.79.
The one-two finish was a fitting golden anniversary gift to Jamaica. The country celebrates 50 years of independence today.
Gatlin's USA teammate, Tyson Gay was inconsolable after the final, the fourth-placed sprinter sobbing while doing an interview, bronze having eluded him by one-hundredth of a second. Gay's 9.80 run would have earned him all but two Olympic titles — the two that belong to Usain St Leo Bolt.
Another American, Ryan Bailey finished fifth in 9.88 seconds, while sixth spot was copped by Churandy Martina, of the Netherlands, in 9.94. Asafa Powell was the only finalist over ten seconds. The Jamaican pulled up injured, and eventually crossed the line eighth and last, in 11.99.
After the race, Thompson told the Express that while he was grateful to be in the final, he was not satisfied with his performance.
"It's been a rough season for me. As much as I was pleased to be there, I was disappointed in what I was able to produce in the final. I always say once I get on the line in a final, anything is possible. My realistic goal was to go in there and try to get a medal. But unfortunately, seventh place was the best I could produce."
Thompson qualified for the final as a "fastest loser", after finishing third in the second semifinal in 10.02 seconds. He had to wait on the outcome of heat three to know his fate. The third-place finisher in the third semifinal, Great Britain's world junior champion Adam Gemili clocked 10.06 seconds, handing Thompson the last championship race spot up for grabs.
Another T&T sprinter, Keston Bledman was squeezed out of the final. He laboured out of the blocks, eventually finishing fourth in heat one in 10.04.
"I wasn't feeling that adrenaline rush in the blocks," Bledman told the Express, "so I had to psyche up myself."
The third T&T sprinter in the event, Rondel Sorrillo was seventh in heat three in 10.31 seconds. Sorrillo stumbled out of the lane three blocks.
"I just never recovered," he said.
In the final, Thompson dived under ten seconds for only the second time this season.
Afterwards, the 27-year-old track star thanked the country for rallying around the T&T Olympic team.
"The support is tremendous. I'm actually overwhelmed by it. When I look at my Twitter feed, and my Facebook, the kind of love Trinidad and Tobago has been showing—The fans of T&T, even the soca artistes have been trying to get us ready. Fay Ann Lyons, Bunji Garlin, Maximus Dan have been sending tweets for people to support us.
"Machel Montano and Beenie Man," Thompson continued, "actually made a song, and they mentioned me in it. Machel emailed it to me to get a little hype off of it. The hype has been good.
"I apologise to the country that I couldn't produce a better placing."