Anja Niedringhaus, Associated Press
DAEGU, South Korea — Even with the 200 meters already won, Usain Bolt gritted his teeth and dipped his 6-foot-5 frame at the line.
He proved his point.
The Jamaican may have clowned around before the race and renewed his antics afterward, but for 19.40 seconds Saturday at the world championships he was as all business. And when he's this serious, he's impossible to catch.
"I am still the best," he said. "It was beautiful."
Bolt stayed an instant longer in the starting blocks, clearly not wanting to false start as he did in the 100 final when he was disqualified. His slow start hardly mattered. He quickly passed the competition around the curve. From there, it was simply a matter of what his time would be. He didn't let up, huffing and puffing all the way.
It wasn't near his world record of 19.19, but it was the fourth fastest in history. And that's with Bolt admitting he's nowhere near his record form of two years ago at the worlds. He expects that to change for next year's London Games, when the stakes are bigger and the lights brighter.
"I have to come to the Olympics and do my extreme best and blow the peoples' minds," Bolt said.
On Saturday, he was not the entire show. The Americans hauled in five medals to increase their total to 21, four more than Russia.
Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross led the women's 1,600 team to gold, while Walter Dix wound up with silver, finishing 0.30 seconds behind Bolt. Danielle Carruthers and Dawn Harper couldn't catch Sally Pearson in the 100 hurdles but still took silver and bronze.
The surprise of the night for the U.S. came when 21-year-old Matthew Centrowitz finished third in the 1,500, less than a second behind winner Asbel Kiprop of Kenya.
Centrowitz drew inspiration from watching Jenny Barringer Simpson win the women's 1,500 on Thursday.
"(She) made me think it was possible," said Centrowitz, whose father was a two-time Olympian. "She set the tone."
In other finals, Sergey Bakulin of Russia won the 50-kilometer walk, Matthias De Zordo of Germany took the javelin title and Anna Chicherova of Russia beat two-time defending champion Blanka Vlasic of Croatia in the high jump.
On Sunday, Abel Kirui successfully defended his marathon title, completing a Kenyan double in the event.
Kirui, who set a championship record two years ago in Berlin, finished in 2:07:38 to claim Kenya's seventh gold medal of the meet and reaffirm its dominance in the long distances.
Kenyan teammate Vincent Kipruto was second in 2:10:06.
Last week, Edna Kiplagat led Kenta to a sweep in the women's marathon.
Bolt was the headliner Saturday night.
Like a maestro, he performs to his adoring audience. Bolt drew applause simply for stepping into the stadium, more for bumping fists with a track attendant and even more for his signature bow-and-arrow pose.
And this was the warmup act. In the main event, he was simply dazzling.
So in control was Bolt, he could have let up with a few strides of his long legs left — something he's done countless times — but he was out to make a point: He's still the same unbeatable Bolt.
"He ran great," said Dix, who also won silver in the 100.
These days, Bolt is so entertaining other athletes stop what they're doing to catch a glimpse. Felix stood on a step beneath the stadium and gazed out at the scoreboard.
- Perfect 10: Cavs stay unbeaten in postseason,...
- AP source: Lincecum completes $2.5 million...
- RSL's Kyle Beckerman named to USMNT's Copa...
- Exaggerator finally beats Nyquist, wins...
- DeRozan, Raptors end Cavaliers' streak with...
- 20 years ago: Utah Jazz drop heartbreaker to...
- 2 Indian climbers missing on Mount Everest...
- While Djokovic, Williams wait, Wawrinka gets...
- Morning links: Tanner Mangum an... 52
- ESPN's Jake Trotter says it's 'Big 12... 48
- Utah basketball adds Czech big man... 43
- Softball: Utah advances to regional... 34
- Utah defensive lineman reportedly... 23
- Utah softball beats Kentucky, 5-3, to... 16
- Video: 100 days until college football... 16
- Kyle Collinsworth to work out for... 9