DAEGU, South Korea (AP)--Usain Bolt again did the unbelievable when it mattered most in the 100 meters.
This time, no gold medal or world record, but a false start and straight elimination from the world championships in a race he has regally reigned over for three years.
In a stunning few seconds, Bolt's showboating turned into real-life despair when he jumped the gun and was led away from the track before Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake won gold ahead of American rival Walter Dix.
"Looking for tears?" Bolt asked as a small group of reporters followed him around. "Not going to happen."
Bolt was in no mood to talk, and instead of wide smiles, he snapped at anyone who tried to ask him about the disqualification.
While everyone had been wondering what Bolt would do to his world record of 9.58 seconds, it was Blake who won his first 100 title with a slow time of 9.92, the only racer to break 10 seconds in the final.
"I didn't really think they were going to kick him out," Dix said. "How can you kick Usain out of the race?"
Another person who knows that feeling is double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius. The South African was kept from competing by the IAAF until the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the ruling shortly before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
On Sunday, he bounced on his carbon-fiber blades, ran past several able-bodied runners and qualified for the semifinals of the 400 in a historic breakthrough for Paralympic athletes.
Like always, though, Bolt found a way to capture all the attention. And for once in his golden career, he was not play-acting.
Instead of beating the clock, he beat the starting gun.
Three steps into in his race after the gun blasted, Bolt's face turned into a primal scream. And in one instinctive move he started pulling off his Jamaica shirt, needing no one to tell him he had made the biggest error in his career.
He was shown the red card and led to the sideline.
"I was so surprised because we have been talking about that in training and now it happens," Blake said.
After the second gun signaled the false start, Bolt gritted his teeth in self disgust and threw up his arms in desperation. Hands over his head, he walked away before slamming the blue stadium wall.
All dreams of a third golden triple in as many major championships were gone, and he had no one to blame but himself. One year ahead of the London Olympics, the world championships showed him as human instead of an infallible sporting superstar.