The Jamaican stormed to glory in 19.66 seconds, six days after taking the 100m title.
Compatriot and training partner Warren Weir claimed silver in 19.79secs, with American Curtis Mitchell getting bronze in 20.04s. Adam Gemili, who in the semi-finals on Friday became only the second Briton to break the 20-second barrier when he ran 19.98, could not quite match it yesterday, but he still ran his second fastest time ever of 20.08 for fifth place.
While Bolt had a fight on his hands to beat Justin Gatlin in the 100m final, in this one there was only one winner from the moment he came out of the blocks. The 26-year-old was away and gone as he flew off the bend and powered away down the straight to claim his third straight world 200m title. He celebrated by dancing on the track with Weir to Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.
Bolt walked across the track shaking everyone’s hand ahead of the race before winking for the camera. As it was he was the slowest out of the blocks, but that is nothing new and never looked like being a factor as he ran a new world-leading time. Gemili, the first British man in a world 200m final for ten years, was well in contention with around 60m to go, but just did not have the strength to come through.
He had mouthed ‘wow’ when he was introduced to the crowd before the race, looking around the stadium with his customary wide smile on his face. He said: “It’s an unbelievable experience to be in that final on the outside of Usain Bolt and just being in the top eight and finishing fifth. I’m just very proud, very happy and very grateful to be in this position.
“Just after Bolt the whole stadium erupted and I thought one day hopefully I’ll be in that position. I was very close to a medal – just four hundredths (of a second) – and I missed out on the Olympic final (in the 100m) by four hundredths as well, so it’s always those fours. But as I get older and stronger that will hopefully come down and down and down. Hopefully I’ll be up there getting a medal in future years.”
The former footballer could have been lining up for Dagenham and Redbridge at Scunthorpe in League Two today had he stuck with the beautiful game. It is hard to imagine he has any regrets. Eight-times world champion Michael Johnson said: “Adam Gemili has been baptised into world 200m running level and he will learn from this experience.”
Meanwhile, Great Britain won two medals in the space of 20 minutes as Tiffany Porter added 100 metres hurdles bronze to the women’s 4x400m team’s third place. Porter ran a new personal best of 12.55 seconds, but was edged out of silver by 0.05secs by Australia’s Olympic champion Sally Pearson. American Brianna Rollins took the gold in 12.44s.
Porter, the United States-born sprinter whose mother is British, was quickest out of the blocks and held her form to help make up for the disappointment of finishing fourth in Daegu two years ago.
Her London 2012 hopes were derailed by injury, but she looked good through the rounds in Moscow, winning her heat and semi-final before coming within 0.01 of Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record in the final. Her run followed a bronze for the women’s relay quartet, which earned anchor-leg runner Christine Ohuruogu her second medal of the championships and took the team’s total to five.