Bolt eyes fi­nal hur­rah

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS - —AFP

Sprint su­per­star Usain Bolt will seek a fi­nal golden hur­rah when he takes to the track at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don this week. Bolt has dom­i­nated sprint­ing since tak­ing dou­ble in­di­vid­ual gold at the Bei­jing Olympics in 2008, go­ing on to win a fur­ther six Olympic golds and also pick­ing up 11 world ti­tles.

World records of 9.58 and 19.19sec in the 100 and 200m when win­ning in the 2009 Ber­lin worlds were fol­lowed by the tow­er­ing Ja­maican win­ning con­sec­u­tive world golds in the 100, 200 and 4x100m re­lay in 2011, 2013 and 2015, with the ex­cep­tion of a false start in the 100m in Daegu in 2011.

The 30-year-old scored triple gold at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in Lon­don and Rio, his sole hic­cup be­ing stripped of his 2008 Olympic re­lay gold af­ter team­mate Nesta Carter failed a drugs test.

It is a stag­ger­ing tally for a track ath­lete who has ad­mit­ted he wants to go out on a high as ath­let­ics seeks to turn a new page. “My main aim is just to win (in Lon­don). I just want to re­tire on a win­ning note,” Bolt said re­cently in Monaco, where he won the 100m in 9.95sec, dip­ping un­der the 10sec bar­rier af­ter two slug­gish out­ings in Kingston and Os­trava.

Bolt has opted not to de­fend his 200m world ti­tle, mean­ing he will not race against South Africa’s Wayde van Niek­erk, the ath­lete Bolt has tipped to take over as the next track and field su­per­star. “That’s one of the most dis­ap­point­ing things in my ca­reer now,” he said. “He came along at this late stage and I didn’t get to com­pete against him, be­cause I think he’s one of the best now.” World and Olympic 400m cham­pion Van Niek­erk, who will at­tempt an au­da­cious 200-400m dou­ble in Lon­don, added: “Usain has been a mas­sive in­spi­ra­tion. “But I’ve still got quite a long way to go be­fore I even get close to the heights that Usain has reached.”

One of the stand-out mo­ments of the 2012 Olympics at the same sta­dium in east Lon­don was ‘Su­per Satur­day’, when Bri­tain won three gold medals in the space of an hour to set the packed sta­dium alight.

Dis­tance run­ning leg­end Mo Farah, on an un­bro­ken streak of nine global fi­nal wins (the 5000m in 2011, and the 5/10km dou­ble in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016). will again com­pete, but there is no Jes­sica En­nis-Hill, the hep­tath­lete hav­ing re­tired, or long jumper Chris Ruther­ford, out in­jured.

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