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IF THE SIZE of the crowds on the opening couple of days of the athletics programme were poor, all that changed when Usain Bolt took to the track to defend his 100m title. The near-47,000 capacity Estadio Olimpico was packed to witness history being written by the Jamaican legend with spectators filling the aisles to catch a glimpse of the world’s most famous athlete.

After Justin Gatlin had the better start, Usain Bolt coasts to his third 100m Olympic gold

Fans, non-competing athletes, media, officials and Rio2016 volunteers strained to get a good view of the action as thousands of outstretched arms tried to capture the moment on cameras and smart phones. “This is the men’s 100 metres final,” boomed the announcer on the tannoy, “and it will all be over in less than 10 seconds.”

Bolt was drawn in lane six with his chief rivals Justin Gatlin of the United States in lane four and Andre de Grasse of Canada in seven. The world record-holder’s start was not, as usual, amazing, but he was holding his own with Gatlin quite early in the race and later said he was confident of winning as early as 30-40 metres due to his ability to finish so strongly.

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About AW – Athletics Weekly Magazine

RIO 2016 COVERAGE MEN 6 100m 10 400m 14 800m 16 10,000m 20 Pole vault 22 Long jump 24 Discus 26 20km walk WOMEN 30 100m 32 400m 34 10,000m 36 3000m steeplechase 38 Heptathlon 42 Marathon 44 Triple jump 45 Shot put 46 Hammer NEWS 52 Hudson-Smith arrives on world stage 54 Rooney motivated by Yousif injury 56 Ultra runner’s continental challenge PERFORMANCE 58 Sports science latest 60 Coach Insight – Matt Yates 62 Safety in throws events RESULTS & FIXTURES 64 Results round-up 77 What’s On – fixtures guide REGULARS 50 YOUNG ATHLETE Javelin thrower Bethany Moule 76 QUIZ CORNER Test your Olympic knowledge 82 DIP FINISH Shot champ out to change event’s image