Bolt finishes career in a world of hurt
After losing in the 100, Jamaican star suffers a leg injury in 400 relay. Farah finishes second in 5,000.
LONDON — Usain Bolt ended his stellar career in excruciating pain.
The Jamaican great crumpled to the track with a left-leg injury as he was chasing a final gold medal for the Jamaican 400-meter relay team Saturday at the world championships.
Having to make up ground on the anchor leg, Bolt suddenly screamed, stumbled and somersaulted as he came down, his golden farewell shattered by the first injury he has experienced at a major competition.
That wasn’t the only surprise. Britain went on to beat the United States in a tight finish.
The 60,000-capacity stadium was primed for one last Bolt show, one last pose after a dazzling victory, but the injury put a damper on the night.
“He is still the best in the world,” said Justin Gatlin, Bolt’s American rival who ended up with 100-meter gold and relay silver.
As Bolt fell to the ground, the leg with the golden shoe giving way, the crowd still went wild because the home team went on to win gold in 37.47 seconds, .05 seconds ahead of the U.S.
“It’s a cramp in his left hamstring, but a lot of the pain is from disappointment from losing the race,” Jamaican team doctor Kevin Jones said. “The last three weeks have been hard for him, you know. We hope for the best for him.”
Afterward, there was plenty of second-guessing to be done. Most of it came at the expense of the IAAF, which made the sprinters wait about 40 minutes from the time they were summoned from the warmup room to the time the starting gun went off.
“I think this is crazy,” Jamaica’s Yohan Blake said. “Forty minutes. Waiting. Warming up. Waiting. Warming up. It just should not happen. To have your champion go out like that. It’s crazy.”
Before Bolt came onto the track, he was consoling Mo Farah, his long-distance equivalent who had just lost his first major race since 2011 when he failed to get gold in the 5,000 meters.
Farah also was bidding farewell to the track, coming up short of his fifth straight 5,000-10,000 double at major championships in a sprint against Muktar Edris Ethiopia.
“I gave it all,” Farah said. “I didn’t have a single bit left at the end.”
Instead, Tori Bowie was the unlikely first double gold medalist at the championships, anchoring the U.S. team to the 400meter relay title ahead of Britain and Jamaica. Allyson Felix, running the second leg on the winning team, earned a record 15th medal at the world championships in a career going back to 2005.
Bowie, who won the 100 meters earlier in the championships, ran a strong anchor leg, leaving behind the opposition to finish in 41.82 seconds.
“Two gold medals is amazing for me,” Bowie said. “We are on top of the world.”
Kevin Mayer became the first Frenchman to win the decathlon, ending with a celebratory 1,500 meters. Mayer won with 8,768 points. Rico Freimuth took silver with 8,564 points, while German teammate Kai Kazmirek was third with 8,488.
There was at least one veteran who did produce Saturday as Australia’s Sally Pearson got another gold medal at the Olympic Stadium in London after missing much of the past two seasons because of injury.
Five years after winning the 100-meter hurdles at the London Games, Pearson won the world title in 12.59 seconds. Dawn Harper-Nelson of the United States was second, .04 of a second behind, and Pamela Dutiewicz of Germany took bronze in 12.72.
USAIN BOLT takes a tumble after pulling up with a leg injury during the the anchor leg of the 400 relay.