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Usain Bolt strikes double gold in sprint

Beijing, Aug 21: Jamaica's Usain Bolt broke the 200-meter world record Wednesday to complete the first Olympic golden sprint double in 24 years and the first 100-200 twin triumphs to feature two world records.

Just four days after shattering his own world 100m record, and on the eve of his 22nd birthday, Bolt pulled away around the curve and won in 19.30 seconds."I have a great feeling. It's a dream come true," Bolt said. "I got out good. I ran the corner as hard as possible and once I entered the straight I told myself to keep it up - 'Don't die on me now.'"

Bolt, who had not before been pressed to run to the finish line at these Games, raced past the former world record of 19.32 set by American legend Michael Johnson at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

"I left everything on the track," Bolt said. "I'm shocked. I have been aspiring to the world record for so long. I never expected this. I knew the track was a fast track, but I didn't think this was possible."

Not since Carl Lewis in 1984 had any man claimed 100m and 200m gold in the same Olympics, but this lightning Bolt struck twice in the same place to the delight of 91,000 roaring fans at the Bird's Nest.

"I was worried but I told myself to leave everything on the track," Bolt said. "I had come here to do it and I'm so happy with myself."

Bolt completed his quest to become the ninth man to achieve the 100-200 Olympic double after winning the 100 final on Saturday in an astounding 9.69 seconds, breaking his former world mark of 9.72 from May in New York.

Still, Bolt said he will cherish he 200 medal more than his 100 gold.

"The 200 medal, it has been my dream," Bolt said.

"I worked so hard to become the champion and I will work harder to stay on top."

As Bolt danced around the track on a victory lap, the stadium loudspeakers played "Happy Birthday" to the Jamaican some 90 minutes early.

After crossing the finish line and raising his arms in celebration, Bolt grabbed a Jamaican flag and draped it around his neck. He took off his golden shoes and began an impromptu celebration dance.

Story first published: Thursday, August 21, 2008, 15:39 [IST]
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