“She was on my ride, and I wanted to be here for her ride,” Ross said. “I try to calm her down because she will tell you she’s pretty high-strung.”
Richards-Ross’ father, Archie, who constructed a weight room in the family’s garage, her mother, Sharon, who is her agent, and her coach, 78-year-old master of the 400 Clyde Hart (Michael Johnson’s coach) were also overjoyed.
“This journey has been so long,” Archie Richards said. “She’s been the best for years, and there was always something in the way. She ran a little conservatively on the backstretch, but I told her nobody talks about the time of Olympic champions, only the win.”
Bolt will be favored to defend his title in the 200 meters and in Jamaica’s 400 relay, which would give him six golds in two Olympics. He said he has only completed the first step of his goal to become a legend.”
“He will definitely do something nasty in the 200 — if he was going to lose, it would have been in the 100,” said Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago.
Bolt ate a prerace breakfast at McDonald’s, but unlike in Beijing, he had no Chicken McNuggets.
At the starting line, the sprinters did their stand-up comedy routines: Bolt, who has fun as a DJ in Kingston clubs, pretended to mix records, then slicked back eyebrows and hair in honor of his barber and made the sign of bunny ears at the suggestion of a friend. Blake, 22, nicknamed “The Beast” by his training partner Bolt, clawed at the camera and growled. Gatlin glared.
Bolt, who had been bothered by tender hamstrings and a sore lower back in the weeks leading up to the Olympics, said he felt confident after loping through his semifinal.
“It means a lot because people were doubting me and there was a lot of talk,” Bolt said. “I’m glad to prove I’m No. 1. That’s what I do. I show up on the day.”
Gatlin, first at the Athens Olympics and banished two years later with a four-year doping ban, became the fourth American man to win multiple medals in the event. Tyson Gay, who owns the third-fastest time in history, finished fourth by .01 and was crying afterward at missing another chance at Olympic glory.