The men's 100-meter final at the 2012 Olympic Games certainly lived up to its billing as perhaps the most exciting final in the history of the modern games as Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt broke his own Olympic record with a run of 9.63 seconds to defend his gold medal in the fastest race in history.
Bolt became just the third man to defend his 100-meter gold medal at the Olympic Games while smashing his own meet record of 9.69 that was set in striking gold in Beijing four years ago.
Fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake scored the silver medal while crossing the finish line in 9.75 as the runner-up to Bolt, while American Justin Gatlin took home the bronze medal with a personal best of 9.79 in what proved to be the fastest 100-meter final in the history of the Olympic Games.
Bolt took revenge on his fellow countryman and training partner after Blake won the 100-meter title at the Jamaican Olympic Trials in a then world-leading time of 9.75 in June.
Not only were the times run by Bolt, Blake and Gatlin the fastest in Olympics history in winning the gold, silver and bronze medals, but Americans Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey ran the fastest times all-time for fourth and fifth place, respectively, in Sunday's final. Gay finished just a split second behind Gatlin off of the medal podium in 9.80, while Bailey crossed the finish line in 9.88 for fifth place.
LSU Tiger great and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Richard Thompson made his second finals appearance at the Olympic Games while earning a seventh-place finish during Sunday's finale.
Thompson secured lane No. 2 in the final after advancing with the eighth and final qualifying spot with an effort of 10.02 for third place in the second semifinal heat. Thompson then broke 10 seconds for the 10th time in his career with a run of 9.98 in Sunday's Olympic final. That performance secured a seventh-place finish for Trinidad & Tobago with his second-fastest time of the 2012 season.
Thompson earned the right to represent Trinidad & Tobago at the Olympic Games for the second time for his career after running 9.96 for the second-place finish at the Sagicor National Open Championships held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, behind Keston Bledman's winning 9.86.
Bledman earned the dubious distinction as the fastest non-qualifier in Olympics history after running 10.04 for fourth place in the first semifinal heat of the 100-meter dash on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday's 100-meter final featured five of the six fastest men in history as Bolt (9.58), Gay (9.69), Asafa Powell (9.72) and Blake (9.75) claim the top four spots on the event's all-time list. Gatlin moved into a tie for the No. 6 spot on the all-time world list with his 9.79 clocking in the championship final.
In addition, Thompson is the No. 14-ranked 100-meter sprinter in history as he owns his personal best and Trinidad & Tobago national record of 9.85 set during the 2011 season.
While coming up short in their quest for a spot on the medal stand in the final of the 100-meter dash, both Thompson and Bledman will lead one of the world's fastest sprint relay teams in the 4x100-meter relay in the final week of this year's games. The qualifying round will be held Friday at 1:45 p.m. CT followed by the Olympic final on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Olympic Stadium.
Not only did Thompson win the silver medal in the 100-meter dash in his Olympics debut, but he also ran the anchor leg for Trinidad & Tobago in winning the silver medal in the 4x100 relay four years ago.
Former Lady Tiger star and Jamaican international Nickiesha Wilson also kicked off her Olympics run on Sunday while lining up in the opening round of the women's 400-meter hurdles.
Wilson nearly matched her 2012 seasonal best with a time of 55.53 for a second-place finish in the fourth of five qualifying heats to advance to the semifinal round. She earned her spot in the semifinals of the 400 hurdles at the Olympics for the second time following her debut in Beijing in 2008.