Rio Recap: Usain Bolt claims third Olympic 100m gold

The fastest man on earth was at his scintillating best last night

Image: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Image: Mike Egerton / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Usain Bolt made history last night by becoming the first athlete in history to win three Olympic gold medals in the men's 100m final in Rio.

The Jamaican sprinter powered his way to victory last night in a time of 9.81 seconds and him a step closer to his goal of winning the "triple-triple" of gold in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay in a third consecutive Olympics.

American Justin Gatlin took silver in 9.89 seconds, while Canada's Andre de Grasse won bronze in 9.91 seconds.

Bolt appeared to be in trouble after a slow start, but he cruised past Gatlin in the last 30m and found time to thump his chest as he crossed the line.

The result delighted the crowd in the Olympic Stadium, who had booed 34-year-old Gatlin - twice banned for doping - before the race.

"I'm really happy, I expected to go faster but the time was so quick (before) we had to come back out," he said after the race. "I'm just happy that I won and that's the key thing.

He also expressed shock at the fact that American Gatlin was treated to such a hostile reception saying: "It was the first time I've ever come into the stadium and they've actually booed somebody, so for me it was shocking, but I didn't care about that."

After his victory, the Jamaican hugged his occasional training partner Wayde van Niekerk, who had earlier broken Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record in the 400m.

The South African's time of 43.03 seconds eclipsed the 43.18 record set by the US legend in Seville in 1999.

South Africa's Wayde Van Niekerk reacts after winning the men's 400-meter final during the athletics competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics at the Olympic stadium (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Elsewhere last night, there's was huge disappointment for Ireland's Ciara Mageean as she failed to qualify for the 1,500m final.

"I'm so disappointed, but I'm so grateful for all of the help that everyone has given me," she told reporters last night.

She noted that her aggressive tactics were deliberate in trying to force a place in the final: "You need to be top five to qualify so is there anything more deliberate than trying to make sure you're there for most of the race. I just wanted to be up to put myself in contention."

Ciara Mageean dejected after failing to qualify for the final of the 1,500m last night. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy