Bolt is a genius like Ali, says athletics chief Coe
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