Usain Bolt ended his Olympic career by claiming an unprecedented ‘triple triple’ and his ninth gold as Jamaica won the 4x100m relay final in Rio. Bolt, 29, had won the 100m and 200m in Rio and is the only man to win all three sprint events at three Games. He combined with Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade to lift gold in a time of 37.27 seconds. Japan won a surprise silver and the USA were disqualified to hand Canada bronze. “There you go, I’m the greatest,” said Bolt, who has won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the last three Games. He intends to retire after the 2017 World Championships in London and will not compete at Tokyo 2020, at which point he will be nearly 34. Bolt’s haul of nine golds is the joint highest among Olympic athletics. He is now equal with USA sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis, who won nine golds over four Games, and Finnish long-distance runner Paavo Nurmi.
“I’m going to stay up late and have fun,” Bolt said. “I never knew this would happen when I started out. My team came through for me tonight. As long as we got the baton round, it was never in doubt. “It’s a brilliant feeling. Iit’s been a long road. I’m happy, but I’m relieved. It’s great to be in the history books as one of the greatest. I’m proud of myself.” Blake made an attempt to persuade 100m and 200m world-record holder Bolt to continue for another four years, saying: “Usain needs to be immortal and he is immortal. I will encourage him to come back for 2020.” When asked about bowing out of the Olympics, Bolt added: “I’m going to miss the crowds. I’m not going to miss the interviews. I’ve done, like, 500.”