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Bolt: I expected to go faster

Andre De Grasse

"I didn't go so fast but I'm so happy I won".

So good did Bolt feel in the 100m semis, in fact, that he claimed, had he ran it flat out, he could have threatened his world record of 9.58.

Gold medalist Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates.

Several hundred of them stayed more than an hour after the race, chanting Bolt's name and shrieking with excitement each time it appeared he might come out to acknowledge them. "I did what I had to". In addition to her dominance in the 200, she has two Olympic bronze medals in the 100 and three medals in the relay.

Bolt must now be accepted as the greatest ever Olympic sprinter, indeed just the greatest sprinter.

Spencer's image is probably set to be the most iconic of a career that has been spent in front of the cameras, although Bolt gave the world plenty more colorful material before and after his race on Sunday night.

No other athlete - man or woman - has ever won three consecutive individual Olympic sprint titles.

But he surged through from 60 metres to pass Gatlin and comfortably win his seventh Olympic gold.

Bolt also sprinted to gold medals at the 2012 Games in London and the 2008 Games in Beijing.

That was only part of the story of this race. Gatlin was booed into the stadium after his previous doping bans, a move Bolt was disappointed to hear, describing it as "shocking". It needed him to defeat the American even more than it craved the more clouded figure of Mo Farah to win on Saturday night.

After the celebrations, selfies and posing for photographers, Bolt revealed that he was "surprised" and called it "shocking" the way the crowd at the stadium treated his rival Gatlin. "He delivered, and credit to him", Gatlin said.

While his performance was definitely a crowd-pleaser, the 29-year-old Bolt admits that his 100-meter run could have easily been better. "I didn't expect that". I guess some people are more vocal than others. "I'm confident those things will change as I look forward to the season".