Usain Bolt hopes his history-making performances at Rio 2016 will ensure he is ranked alongside Muhammad Ali and Pele in the pantheon of sporting greats.
Four days on from becoming the first man to win three Olympic 100 meter golds, Bolt repeated the trick on Thursday by comfortably winning the 200m final in a time of 19.78 seconds, ahead of Andre De Grasse and Christophe Lemaitre.
Following his latest triumph, which keeps him on course for an unprecedented ‘triple-triple’ of sprint successes, the Jamaican reiterated he was unlikely to compete over 200 meters again at a major championship and expressed his joy at claiming an eighth Olympic crown.
Bolt said: “I don’t need to prove anything else. What else can I do to prove to the world I am the greatest?”
“I am trying to be one of the greatest. Be among Ali and Pele.
“I hope after these Games I will be in that bracket.”
Asked whether he was likely to race in the 200m at next year’s World Championships in London, his scheduled swansong, Bolt told the BBC: “I think I’ll only do the 100 meters. I definitely feel like that will be the last [200m] for me.
“My coach has a way of trying to convince me, but personally I think this is my last one.”
Bolt did not threaten his world record of 19.19secs on Thursday and added with a smile: “I wasn’t happy with the time. I ran hard off the turn but when I came into the straight it was like my body would not respond to me.
“It’s just the rounds. I’m getting older. I’m not as young and fresh, but it’s just one of those things. I’m just excited I got the gold medal, that’s the key thing.
“It’s something that you work so hard for throughout the years. When this moment comes, you’re happy but you’re also relieved to have done it because you really want it and so much things could have gone wrong.
“The fact that I came here, and I executed well and everything worked out – it’s a brilliant feeling.”