Usain Bolt affirms his legend

Jamaica's Usain Bolt holds his national flag after winning men's 100-meter final Sunday
AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

(CBS News) LONDON - Everybody's a Jamaican this morning.

Usain Bolt is the inspiration. Could the man whose personality is as big as the Olympics' biggest race repeat as the 100 meter champion? It was the question of these Games.

Fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake had already beaten Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic trials. American Justin Gatlin and others also posed a threat.

The fastest field ever assembled got off to a clean start. The Games' most intense 10 seconds had begun. Bolt wins these races, not at the start, but in the middle. Once into his stride, he is what it says on the label of this race - the fastest man in the world.

How silly to have doubted him. It was a Jamaican one-two. Gatlin, coming back from a drugs ban, nipped third.

"I was so focused on going out there and winning and showing everybody that was talking all kinds of stuff that I'm still the best," Bolt said. "I'm always gonna be number one, no matter what."

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By outclassing the field for the second straight games, Bolt has become what he said he wanted to be - not just a winner and Olympic champion - but a legend.

Other winners on this night ran in the shadow of Bolt's star.

Sanya Richards Ross held her nerve and her speed in the women's 400 meter to win the race she narrowly lost last time.

"You don't realize how much relief you're going to feel," she said. "You don't realize how much you're gonna -- in that moment, I realized that all the hard work, all the disappointments, and every sacrifice I made were worth it."

Not everything went according to plan.

McKayla Maroney was considered the vaulter of choice in women's gymnastics - until she stumbled, and had to settle, in every sense, for second.

And there was redemption and controversy on the tennis courts. Britain's Andy Murray, beaten in the Wimbledon final just weeks ago by Switzerland's Roger Federer, got his revenge - a straight sets victory for Olympic gold.

But Serena Williams' celebratory dance after her victory over Maria Sharapova Saturday prompted a wave of Internet reaction. The so-called Crip dance originated among L.A.'s murderous street gangs. Hardly the thing, some thought, for the lush lawns of the all England Tennis Club.

Serena and sister Venus Williams took the gold for doubles Sunday.

  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips is CBS News senior foreign correspondent, based in London.