The win in the Olympic 200 meters was a given, his second gold medal of the Beijing Games assured.
This was now about a world record. About racing against history.
Showing just what he can do when he goes all out start to finish, Bolt forged the greatest race ever run Wednesday night under the hazy lights at the Bird's Nest, heaving his chest toward the finish line -- not simply to beat someone for the gold, but to become a part of track's glorious, and sometimes troubled, lore.
He finished in 19.30 seconds to break Michael Johnson's 12-year-old world record, one of the most venerable in the books.
"I just blew my mind and blew the world's mind," Bolt said.
Officially, he won by an astounding 0.66 second over American Shawn Crawford, the defending Olympic champion. Crawford won the silver medal when Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles, who had finished 0.52 behind Bolt, was disqualified after a U.S. protest for running out of his lane.
"It feels like a charity case," Crawford said.
American Walter Dix was awarded the bronze medal when the third man across the line, teammate Wallace Spearmon, also was DQ'd for leaving his lane.
They are just footnotes to history.
Bolt added the 19.30 -- 0.02 better than Johnson's old mark -- to the 9.69 he ran the 100 four nights before when he hot-dogged the final 20 meters to set the world record.
Everyone thought he could've done better in the 100 had he run hard the whole way, but the 200 has always been Bolt's favorite, the one he spent his life on, and this time he saved the showboating for after the race.
It has been 24 years since an athlete claimed the 100 and 200 meter races:
Usain Bolt (center)......2008
Bold indicates U.S.A.