Is Bolt on track for 2016?
LONDON — Toting his third gold medal of the London Games, Usain Bolt gave a little wave to 80,000 or so of his best friends in the Olympic Stadium stands.
Almost immediately, the questions started: Was Bolt bidding adieu for good? Will the world get to watch him sprint on his sport's biggest stage again in 2016?
“It was a goodbye to London. I was just having fun with the crowd,” the Jamaican said. “I came here to London to become a legend, and I am a legend, and I wanted to thank them for supporting me.”
He accomplished exactly what he wanted to at the 2012 Olympics. Three events — the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 relay — and three victories. Plenty of pre- and postrace preening. Just like at Beijing in 2008.
As for trying to go for a Triple Triple four years from now, Bolt insisted Rio de Janeiro isn't necessarily in the offing.
“The possibility is there, but it's going to be very hard. ... I've done all I want to do,” said Bolt, who turns 26 on Aug. 21. “I've got no more goals.”
He came up with three remarkable runs, improving his career mark to 6 for 6 in Olympic finals. In more than a century of modern Olympics, no man had set world records while winning the 100, 200 and 4x100 relay — until Bolt did it in Beijing. No one had won the 200 meters twice, let alone completed a 100-200 double twice — until Bolt in 2008 and '12.
He added a second consecutive sprint relay title, too, pulling away down the stretch and bringing his best right through the finish line to close the track schedule Saturday with a world record in the relay.
Sanya Richards-Ross, who won gold in the 400 and the 4x400 relay, helped the U.S. end up with 29 medals in track and field, six more than in Beijing and the most at an Olympics since its 30 at Barcelona in 1992.
With victories in the 200 meters, 4x100 and 4x400, Allyson Felix became the first U.S. female track athlete to win three golds at a Summer Games since Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.
• South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, aka “Blade Runner,” became the first amputee to compete on the track at an Olympics, his carbon-fiber prosthetics clack-clacking as he qualified for the 400-meter semifinals.
• Manteo Mitchell of the U.S. ran the last half-lap of the opening leg in 4x400-meter relay preliminaries after hearing and feeling his left fibula snap.