As Bolt and seven other competitors ducked into their starting crouches, a bottle sailed from the first row of the stands at Olympic Stadium.
It harmlessly bounced in the lane belonging to Yohan Blake and didn't appear to cause a distraction to the runners, who started a split-second later. The thrower's lack of distance was a blessing. Had he gathered tips from the competitors of the hammer throw competition, which was taking place in the infield at the same time as the 100 final, the bottle could have hit one of the competitors. It ended up landing a few feet from Blake (lane 5).
Edith Bosch, a female Dutch judoka who won a bronze medal earlier during the Olympics, claimed that the man who threw the bottle was sitting near her and that she "beat" him. Whether that's true or the hyperbole of an aggravated athlete was unclear in the minutes after the incident. Pictures show a contingent of Dutch athletes sitting behind the starting area.
Police took the man into custody. He will appear in court on Monday morning.
[ Related: Full video coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games ]
Neither Bolt nor blake said they knew of the incident until they were informed by reporters. "I don't know who would have done that," Bolt said.
Gatlin was aware of it but implied it was only a slight distraction. "I didn't know what it was," he said, according to the BBC, "but when you're in those blocks and the whole stadium's quiet you can hear a pin drop."
More Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
Related Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Video: Carmelita Jeter on her name being widely mispronounced
• Video: Carmelita Jeter flies to silver in 100
• Video: Friends Rupp and Farah go 1-2 in men's 10,000m