Never Bet against Bolt, Says Ato Boldon

Tips the Ja­maican to bow out grace­fully

THISDAY - - MONDAY SPORTS -

For­mer 100 me­tres world record holder Dono­van Bai­ley has backed Usain Bolt to bow out in triumph at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships start­ing on Satur­day in Lon­don de­spite his slow buildup to the ath­let­ics show­piece.

Bolt logged his sea­son best of 9.95 sec­onds just over a week ago in Monaco, a time beaten by a raft of sprint­ers this year.

But the 30-year-old Ja­maican is still rag­ing favourite to win his fourth 100m World ti­tle, and with good rea­son, ac­cord­ing to for­mer world and Olympic cham­pion Bai­ley.

“Any­one that bets against Bolt at a ma­jor cham­pi­onship isn’t smart,” the Ja­maica-born Cana­dian told Reuters at the week­end.

“Those ath­letes have to have a mis­take-free race to make (the 100m fi­nal) interesting,” he said of Bolt’s ri­vals.

Bolt is cur­rently ranked joint sev­enth with arch-ri­val Justin Gatlin on the year’s top timesheet which is headed by world leader and Amer­i­can NCAA cham­pion Chris­tian Cole­man.

Cole­man ran 9.82 sec­onds in Eu­gene, Ore­gon last month.

Bolt’s Ja­maican train­ing part­ner Yo­han Blake is sec­ond on the list with 9.90, ahead of South African Akani Sim­bine (9.92) and Amer­i­cans Cameron Bur­rell and Christo­pher Belcher.

For­mer Trinidad and Tobago sprinter Ato Boldon, who won the 200m World Cham­pi­onship in 1997, thinks only Blake has a chance to spoil world record holder Bolt’s party in Lon­don.

“If Blake is healthy, he can be a real threat to Bolt. I don’t know that any­one else this year has shown me that they can be bet­ter than Bolt in the last 50m,” Boldon told Reuters.

Bolt, who has won eight Olympic and 11 world cham­pi­onship gold medals, is plan­ning to quit the track after com­pet­ing in the 100m and 4x100m re­lay in Lon­don.

Boldon, a four-times Olympic medal­list, said there could be no de­bate about the world’s great­est ever sprinter.

“There isn’t any­one who can say that he (Bolt) has not been the best ever,” he said.

Bolt

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