(BEIJING, August 16) -- Usain Bolt of Jamaica has won the Men's 100m gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in a world record time of 9.69 seconds.
Silver medalist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago ran a time of 9.89 seconds, leaving American Walter Dix to take the bronze in a time of 9.91 seconds.
The 21-year-old broke his own world record of 9.72 seconds, which he set in June this year. The Olympic record stood at 9.84 seconds, set by Donovan Bailey at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.
Bolt came from relative obscurity to worldwide attention in the 100m at a Grand Prix event on Long Island, New York, in late May, after demolishing the field and breaking the world record in a time of 9.72 seconds, a stunning result for anyone, let alone a runner who had been seen as a 200m specialist.
Pre-race favorite Powell, favorite in Athens 2004 and at last year's world championships, failed to live up to expectation both times, and again seems to have cracked under the pressure, finishing fifth and 0.26 seconds behind his arch-rival Bolt.
Reigning world champion Tyson Gay failed to qualify after running a time of 10.05 seconds in the semifinals. Gay was the United States best chance for gold.
Gay got a decent jump from the blocks and was in contention early in the semifinal race, but Powell and Richard Thompson overtook him. He was outleaned at the line by American Darvis Patton, who finished in 10.03 seconds.
"I did my best," Gay said. "I don't have any excuses."
As a result, Gay's only chance at an Olympic medal will come in the relays. He also failed to qualify for the 200m, after pulling up lame in the preliminary round with a strained left hamstring at the Olympic trials six weeks ago.
"[I feel] a little bit bitter, but I did my best, and I don't have any excuse because I tried hard," he said.
Gay's remaining chance for a medal at Beijing 2008 is the Men's 4 x 100m Relay, which begins Thursday at the National Stadium, while Bolt can finally relax with the gold around his neck.
The gold medalist explained his early celebration, raising his arms before the finish line, "As soon as I saw I had covered the field and I knew I would win, I was very happy and I started to celebrate."
Final results of the Olympic Men's 100m:
1. Usain Bolt -- Jamaica 9.69 WR
2. Richard Thompson -- Trinidad/Tobago 9.89 PB
3. Walter Dix -- United States 9.91 PB
4. Churandy Martina -- Netherlands Antilles 9.93 NR
5. Asafa Powell -- Jamaica 9.95
6. Michael Frater -- Jamaica 9.97 PB
7. Marc Burns -- Trinidad/Tobago 10.01
8. Darvis Patton -- United States 10.03