LONDON — Pulling away from the pack with every long stride, Usain Bolt crossed the finish line and thrust his right index finger in the air.
Yes, he’s still No. 1 in the 100-meter dash. Maybe not better than ever, but Bolt is definitely back.
Only about fifth-fastest of the eight runners to the halfway mark Sunday night, Bolt erased that deficit and overtook a star-studded field to win the final in 9.63 seconds, an Olympic record that let him join Carl Lewis as the only men to claim consecutive gold medals in the marquee track and field event at the Summer Games.
Ever the showman, the Jamaican kept right on running for a victory lap that included high-fives for front-row fans, a pause to crouch down and kiss the track and even a somersault.
Bolt’s training partner and Jamaican teammate, world champion Yohan Blake, won the silver in 9.75, and 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin of the U.S. earned the bronze in 9.79.