As he struggled through his worst, slowest season since he became the fastest man alive at the 2008 Olympics, an atmosphere of doubt surrounded Usain Bolt for the first time.
Bolt came to Beijing and won both the 100m and 200m, beating Gatlin twice. He now has five of the ten fastest 200m times ever, four of the ten fastest 100m times ever, and the world records in both events. If he hadn’t been disqualified for the 100m final at the 2011 World Championships, Bolt would have won every Olympic and World Championship gold medal in the two events since 2008.
He won the 200 meters in 19.55 seconds – the 10th-fastest time ever – despite jogging the last five meters:
He won the 100 meters too, beating Gatlin in his strongest event with a time of 9.79 seconds. While that race wasn’t as dominant as his 200m win, we got a glimpse of his casual brilliance in the semifinals, when he almost fell down before winning his heat with a blazing fast last 50 meters.