Bolt secured relay baton despite disqualifation threat
It's mine ... judges argue with Jamaica's Usain Bolt for the baton. Photo: AFP
Is there no limit to Usain Bolt's powers?
One minute he's securing the "double treble" of gold medals in the 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m relay at back-to-back Olympics and the next he's convincing stuffy athletics officials to relax their rules.
In the wake of the Jamaican relay team's world record win on Saturday night, Bolt pleaded with two track officials to allow him to keep the yellow baton he crossed with to win his sixth gold medal.
Initially his plea was rejected - Bolt later said he was threatened with disqualification if he did not hand over the baton - but it appears the sprinter's wild popularity prompted a change of heart.
The governing body for world athletics, the IAAF, could not be contacted for comment. But a number of other news websites reported Bolt saying he got the baton back in the end.
"I asked and I guess somebody talked to the guy and said you need to give him that back. So I got it," Bolt said, according to USAtoday.com.
"He was saying I couldn't keep it, because it's the rule. I got it back, but it was kind of weird, because he actually told me that if I didn't give it back, I would be disqualified. That was kind of weird."
NDTV Sports reported that it was the first time the Jamaican had asked to keep a relay baton. Bolt asked his three teammates Yohan Blake, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter, to sign the baton and pose for a picture he plans to frame and display alongside it.
Blake said Bolt's plea for the baton showed his teammates how special the night had been to the characteristically laid-back athlete.
There were other signs the big guy was enjoying himself. He and British long distance gold medallist Mo Farah hung back at the stadium well after the formalities finished on Saturday night and thanked the crowd for their presence and enthusiasm.
They then posed for photos on the medal dais - Farah doing the trademark lightning bolt and Bolt making the "M" [for Mo] sign over his head. It was the same pose he struck while crossing the finish line in the relay, a nod of respect to the home crowd favourite who backed up gold in the men's 10,000m on the first night of athletics with gold in the 5000m on the final night.