Usain Bolt says he will join the ranks of the “immortal” if he follows the defence of his 100m crown with further gold medals in the 200m and 4 x 100m this week at the Rio Olympics.
Bolt held off American Justin Gatlin and Canada’s Andre de Grasse to clinch the first leg of his quest for the “triple triple” – an unprecedented third consecutive hat-trick of Olympic sprint titles – in the early hours of Monday morning.
He can add the 200m on Friday, with the relay final to follow 24 hours later.
“Somebody said if I win these three gold medals I would be immortal and I kind of liked it. So I’m going to run with that one,” he said.
“I came here to achieve three gold medals. I came to prove I’m one of the greats. It was important to get it done – three times is magnificent.”
Bolt believes he could surpass his own world record of 19.19 seconds in the 200m, where he will face Gatlin again.
The Jamaican added: “I’m excited about what’s about to happen for the rest of the Olympics. I really want the 200m world record.”