The men's 100 meters is the showcase event of track and field, perhaps the most electric moment of any Olympic Games and the prime vehicle Usain Bolt has used to soar to international celebrity and immense wealth -- $10 million annually from his primary sponsor, Puma.
Yet it is not the 6-5, 25-year-old Jamaican's favorite event. Bolt prefers the deuce, mon.
"For me, it's always going to be about the 200 meters," Bolt says. "I've really dedicated a lot of time to it. It's become easy to me.
"It's my favorite event."
The way he ran Sunday at Olympic Stadium, blazing to a gold medal-winning time of 9.63 seconds, the second-fastest 100 meters in history, Bolt solidified his status as a big favorite in the 200, which opens with heats today. The semifinals are Wednesday, and the final is Thursday.
Set your Bolt alarms now: The 200 final goes off Thursday at 8:55 p.m. London time, 3:55 p.m. ET.
Bolt is the defending Olympic champion and world recordholder in the event at 19.19 seconds, and he has run six of the fastest 200-meter races in history.
His countryman, 22-year-old Yohan Blake, who finished second to Bolt in the 100 final Sunday, last year ran the second-fastest 200 in history at 19.26.
Blake beat Bolt in the 200 in Jamaica's Olympic trials, but Bolt announced after winning the 100 on Sunday that he would not let Blake beat him in the Olympics.
One of those hoping to break the string of Jamaican Olympic sprint victories will be three-time world championship medalist and three-time U.S. outdoor champion Wallace Spearmon, who has become quite friendly with Bolt.
"We're good. I like him," says Spearmon, a 27-year-old from Fayetteville, Ark., who has run 19.65. "He's good for the sport."
Bolt, as always, will be chasing history.
In the 100 meters, he became the second man to win back-to-back gold medals and the first to finish the race in first place in back-to-back Olympics. (The USA's Carl Lewis took gold in 1984 and 1988, but the second came only after he was elevated to first because race winner Ben Johnson was disqualified for doping.)
No one has successfully defended an Olympic 200 title.
Bolt's star power grows every time he steps on an Olympic track, but with a legacy of back-to-back 100 and 200 titles that would be legendary.
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