Bolt’s ca­reer ends with an in­jury

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Raf Casert

LON­DON» Usain Bolt ended his spec­tac­u­lar ca­reer in ex­cru­ci­at­ing pain.

The Ja­maican star crum­pled to the track with a left­leg in­jury as he was chas­ing a fi­nal gold medal for the Ja­maican 4x100-me­ter re­lay team at the world cham­pi­onships Sat­ur­day.

Hav­ing to make up lots of 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. Great Bri­tain went on to beat the United States in the event in a tight fin­ish.

A sell­out crowd of 60,000 fans at Olympic Sta­dium was primed for one last Bolt show, one last “To the World” pose af­ter a vic­tory, but the in­jury made it bla­tantly clear why Bolt is ready to re­tire. His body can no longer hold up.

“He is still the best in the world,” said fel­low sprinter Justin Gatlin, Bolt’s Amer­i­can ri­val who ended up with 100me­ter gold and re­lay sil­ver.

Bolt’s team­mates on the once-fa­bled Ja­maican sprint squad were far from un­match­able too. Bolt just had too much to make up in the fi­nal 100 me­ters as both Great Bri­tain and the U.S. were ahead, and even Ja­pan was even.

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 — 0.05 of a sec­ond bet­ter than the U.S. time.

“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.”

The race will cer­tainly be re­mem­bered for the gut-wrench­ing way in which the sport’s great­est ath­lete was forced to end his ca­reer.

“It just hap­pened,” Ja­maican lead­off run­ner Omar Mcleod said. “Usain Bolt’s name will al­ways live on.”

Patrick Smith, Getty Im­ages

Usain Bolt of Jamaica re­acts af­ter falling to the track in the men’s 4x100 re­lay fi­nal.

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