Moscow – Usain Bolt underlined his sprinting prowess on Saturday by powering to a third successive world 200m title at the World Athletics Championships for his seventh world gold medal.
The 26-year-old Jamaican destroyed the field to finish in 19.66 seconds, teammate Warren Weir claiming silver in a personal best of 19.79sec and American Curtis Mitchell taking bronze in 20.04.
South African Anaso Jobodwana finished sixth in a close finish between the rest of the field.
It was Bolt's seventh world gold medal after winning the 100 and 200m at the Berlin worlds in 2009, the 200m in Daegu in 2011, the 100m in Moscow on Sunday and golds as part of the winning Jamaican 4x100m relay squads in both 2009 and 2011.
He also has two silvers (200m, 4x100m relay) from the 2007 worlds in Osaka.
His burgeoning medal haul also includes unprecedented treble golds from both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
Bolt now has the opportunity to draw level with the present mark of eight world gold medals won by retired American duo Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson when he races the 4x100m relay on Sunday.
Bolt, who had been nursing a sore foot after regaining his 100m title on Sunday, had the slowest reaction time of the eight-man field, but exploded into the bend and was up on Briton Adam Gemili on his outside in lane five within 10 paces.
As he rounded the bend, Bolt had a clear lead on the rest of the field, Weir in lane eight coming through late on.
Pre-race excitement had grown at the packed Luzhniki Stadium when television cameras picked out Bolt in lane four, dressed in black and green shorts and the yellow and black singlet of the Jamaican team.
When he made his entrance onto the track, the noise levels went up a notch and, ever the actor, Bolt delighted in playing up to the television cameras, preening his eyebrows and hair.
As the starter called them to the blocks, Bolt briefly crossed himself and looked skywards as the television zoomed in and his picture was broadcast on the big stadium screen.
Come race time and there was no nonsense from Bolt, a clinical bend followed by the afterburners in his drive phase to ensure a comfortable win in his favoured event.
Bolt's sprint double was just the tonic for track and field, the credibility of which had again been called to account in recent weeks, notably after American sprint rival Tyson Gay and Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell tested positive for drugs. – Sapa-AFP