He may have been a three-time Olympic gold medallist, a winner of five World Championship gold medals and the fastest man ever over both 100m and 200m, but Usain Bolt headed into London 2012 with big question marks hanging over him.
Some had accused the playful Jamaican of not taking his training seriously, while others claimed that his party lifestyle had hampered his form and concentration levels. They pointed to the fact that he had false-started in the final of men's 100m at the World Champs a year earlier, while Bolt had also been beaten by training partner Yohan Blake five weeks before the Games.
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It meant that in a highly competitive 100m final in the English capital, which took place three years ago today, Blake had been strongly tipped by many to take the Olympic title away from his compatriot.
Blake, along with Justin Gatlin, both sprung out of the blocks in much sharper fashion than Bolt, who was forced to work extremely hard to keep in contact with the field initially.
But, from 50m onwards, the champion was able to get into his long stride and as soon as that happened, there was only ever going to be one winner.
When he crossed the line, there was clear daylight between himself and Blake in the silver medal position. His time of 9.63s was an Olympic record and also just 0.05s slower than his own world record. Also, Bolt had become the first man since Carl Lewis back in 1988 to win consecutive 100m Olympic finals.
Asked about the criticism that he had received prior to the race, the 25-year-old replied: "I have nothing to say. I said it on the track. All they can do is talk. I said when it comes to the championships it's all about me.
"I was slightly worried about my start, so I sat in the blocks a bit, but I executed and that was the key. My coach said, 'Stop worrying about your start, your best race is at the end'.
"There was a lot of people saying I wasn't going to win. There was a lot of talk. It was great feeling to come out here and show the world I'm still number one and still the best."
As for Blake, he added: "To be the second-fastest man in the world behind Bolt is an honour. He is the fastest man in the world and I've got a silver medal. What more can I ask for?"
It proved to be arguably the best 100m race of all time, with seven of the eight men involved running under 10 seconds. The only athlete not to break that barrier - Bolt and Blake's fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell - pulled up injured.
Four days later, Bolt went on to make Olympic history when he again pipped Blake to claim gold in the 200m.
Result of men's 100m at London 2012
1. Usain Bolt (9.63)
2. Yohan Blake (9.75)
3. Justin Gatlin (9.79)
4. Ryan Bailey (9.88)
5. Churandy Martina (9.94)
6. Richard Thompson (9.98)
7. Asafa Powell (11.99)
Tyson Gay (9.80) has since been disqualified for doping offences.