Usain Bolt Gets 20m Viewers but is Puzzled by ‘Weird, Silly Rules’ at London 2012

Usain Bolt confirmed his place in history by winning back to back 100 metre Olympic titles last night and as he got stuck into some trademark trackside celebrations, the BBC execs will have been doing the same thing at Broadcasting House.

Last night’s sprint final capped a brilliant weekend of sport and over 20 million viewers – more than for any other Olympic event outside the opening ceremony – tuned in to watch.

Yet British heroes Jessica Ennis and Mo Farrah weren’t far behind the rapid Jamaican and their triumphs were watched by 16.3 million and 17.1 million people respectively as they claimed Heptahlon and 10,000 metre golds on what has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’. Some have suggested that they they would almost certainly have gained more viewers than Bolt if the days had been switched, because more people stay at home on Sunday night.

Execs expect that ratings for Andy Murray’s impressive win over Roger Federer will also be high when they are confirmed later today.

Usain Bolt may be the toast of the Olympic village this morning (he’ll look to retain his 200 metre crown on Thursday) but he was less than impressed by the amount of restrictions imposed upon him at the London games.

“It has been different from Beijing. There are lots of rules, weird, silly rules that don’t make any sense to me,” he explained.

“I tried to wear my tie into the park. They said ‘no’. I said why? ‘Because of the rules’, they said. Then I wanted to bring my skipping rope in and they said ‘no’ because it’s ‘the rules’. These rules just don’t make sense to me.â€?

And things got no better for the Olympic champion when he finally got out on to the track. “I was about to run in the final and a guy was telling me to ‘line up’, to ‘stay in a straight line’. I thought really? You’re going to make me line up? Just silly rules…â€?

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