Usain Bolt has given credit to his supporters for calming his nerves before his record-breaking dash in the men's 100m Olympic final.
The Jamaican sprinter, who with a time of 9.63 seconds beat Jamaican 100m world champion Yohan Blake and Athens gold medallist Justin Gatlin of the USA on his way to a fourth gold medal and a new Olympic record, said his anxieties were calmed by the 80,000 people on hand to see him race.
"I was slightly nervous before I came out, but after that cheer that I got when they were introducing me, all those jitters went away. The crowd plays a very important part in the race for me."
Bolt said he found it more difficult to defend his title than it was to earn it.
"Hands down, it's harder than anything else," he admitted. "At the trials, when Yohan Blake beat me twice, it opened my eyes.
"After I defend my 200 metre title also, I'll consider myself a legend."
Jamaica's track and field manager said he had no doubt Bolt would do the double in London.
"I don't think anybody would come near him," said Ludlow Watts.
He lavished praise upon his three 100m finalists, including Asafa Powell whose challenge ended in disappointment after an old groin injury reoccurred around the 70m mark.
"All three are achievers," said Watts.
"Powell actually started this great change in our sprinting, and he's still a champion. He was world champion and the world record holder for many years, so we are proud of his achievements.
"Blake is the youngest of the three. Last year he won [the world 100m title] in Daegu, and that has altered his demeanour. It has motivated him, and he will continue to do well in the future.
Watts said "for the next few years," Bolt's legacy would remain unchallenged.
"I don't think his achievement can be matched by anyone near our generation."
The men's 200m heats begin on Tuesday night at 10:50pm NZT.By Troy Rawhiti-Forbes @TroyRF Email Troy