Bolt is a ge­nius like Ali, says ath­let­ics chief Coe

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Usain Bolt is a ge­nius and has had as big an im­pact on ath­let­ics as Muham­mad Ali did on boxing, says Lord Coe.

Sprint leg­end Bolt, an eight­time Olympic gold medal­list, is set to re­tire af­ter the World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don, which be­gin on Fri­day.

Coe likened the Ja­maican, 30, to for­mer world heavy­weight cham­pion Ali, one of sport’s most iconic fig­ures.

He is the best sprinter of all time, said Coe, who is pres­i­dent of the sport’s world gov­ern­ing body the IAAF.

Usain Bolt is a ge­nius. I can’t think, other than Muham­mad Ali, of any­body that has so had an im­pact in­side or be­yond their sport.

You can have the Fri­day-night-in-the-pub con­ver­sa­tions about who is best footballer or ten­nis player, but there is no ar­gu­ment about this guy in sprint­ing.

Bolt won 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold at the past three Olympic Games - Bei­jing 2008, Lon­don 2012 and Rio 2016.

How­ever, his un­prece­dented ‘triple triple’ of nine gold medals was down­graded to eight af­ter Ja­maican team­mate Nesta Carter, part of the quar­tet who won the 4x100m in Bei­jing, tested pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance. Carter has ap­pealed against the de­ci­sion.

Bolt is also an 11-time World Cham­pi­onship gold medal­list, and has won the 100m ti­tle three times.

Usain Bolt of Ja­maica (L) cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the 100m dash ahead of Justin Gatling of USA (R)and Vi­caut (C) of France at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro

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