Men's 100m Final

Usain Bolt of Jamaica runs to win the gold. Andre De Grasse of Canada, left, took the bronze. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

RIO DE JANEIRO - An hour after securing his third successive Olympic 100 meters gold on Sunday, Usain Bolt was still patiently making his way through another 100 meters -- the zig-zag 'mixed zone' where TV crews from around the world wait to snatch a sound bite.

Hundreds of fans hovered above, chanting his name, singing Bob Marley songs and roaring with excitement when he gave them a wave.

The great man had already completed a leisurely circuit of the stadium, starring in a thousand selfies but still found time to give every microphone his thoughts.

Inside the stadium, scores more journalists awaited a midnight news conference, where Bolt said victory in the 200m on Thursday would upgrade his status from "legend" to "immortal".

Nobody who witnessed him run down double-doper Justin Gatlin to win the 100m in 9.81 seconds or the millions tuning in worldwide for the most-watched TV moment of the Games would have begrudged the hyperbole.

His titles and medal count already make him beyond compare and if he completes his "triple-triple" by adding the 200m and 4x100m relay golds they might have to start making up new words.

"I came here to achieve three gold medals. I came to prove I'm one of the greats," he said. "I wanted to set myself apart from everybody else and this is the Olympics and this is the place to do it.

"I feel pretty proud of myself. It was important to get it done -- three times is magnificent."

Next up is the 200m and he will not have too much time to dwell on his achievements so far with the heats scheduled for Tuesday morning.

He laughed when somebody suggested Gatlin could take him down over his favorite distance and repeated his claim that his own 19.19 seconds world record from 2009 was within range.

"I'm excited about what about to happen for the rest of the Olympics, I really want the 200m world record," he said.

"I think if I can get a good night's rest after the semi-finals it's possibly a thing I could do.

"I'm going to go out there and leave it all on the track."

Athletics, relentlessly battered by unending doping and corruption issues, needs Bolt probably more than any sport has ever needed any individual and the ultimate showman has never shirked from playing his part.

He turns 30 at the end of the Games, which will be his last, and said he would continue to put back in.

"I'd like to stay in the sport to continue inspiring youngsters," he said. "I know the sport needs me, hopefully I can stay around and be a part of it."