AP Photo/Lee Jin-man
Usain Bolt's final night as an Olympian started with a gold medal.
And it ended with another.
Competing in the Olympics for what he insists will be the final time, the Jamaican sprint superstar got his triple-triple _ three Olympics, three golds in each. Gold No. 9 came in the men's 4x100-meter relay on Friday night, when he anchored Jamaica to its third consecutive gold medal in the event.
The music that blared through Olympic Stadium afterward? "Jammin," by Bob Marley.
Bolt crosses the finish line. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bolt's nine gold medals _ in nine finals _ tie him for the most in Olympic track and field history: Carl Lewis of the U.S. and Paavo Nurmi of Finland also have nine golds apiece.
Usain Bolt, you don't have to ask to keep the baton. It's yours, man.
— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) August 20, 2016
Jamaica won in 37.27 seconds. Japan was second in 37.60, and the U.S. finished third in 37.62 seconds but was disqualified _ so the bronze goes to Canada.
The race was close when Bolt got the baton to run the final leg. It didn't stay close for long.
Opening up the lead with every stride, he waltzed across the finish line before going over to adoring fans, his arms outstretched.
It was his show, and everyone knew it.
Damn Bolt is just fast pic.twitter.com/XtkI6gjmHT
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) August 20, 2016
Bolt was one of the first athletes on the track Friday night, even before the events formally began. He got his 200-meter gold medal in a brief ceremony, singing along with the Jamaican anthem and smiling broadly.
One more anthem awaits, and then, the Olympic farewell for the world's fastest man becomes real.