Usain Bolt will run the 100m and 4x100m at the world championships in London next month, his final event before retiring, the Jamaican sprint star confirmed on Wednesday.
Bolt, winner of eight Olympic and 11 world gold medals, is looking to bring down the curtain on his glittering career in style at the August 4-13 event.
“My main aim is just to win (in London). I just want to retire on a winning note,” Bolt said during a press conference in Monaco ahead of Friday’s Diamond League meeting. The 30-year-old revealed he would not defend his 200m world title, meaning he will not race against South Africa’s Wayde van Niekerk, the athlete Bolt has tipped to take over as the next track and field superstar.
“I think that’s one of the most disappointing things in my career now,” said Bolt. “He came along at this late stage and I didn’t get to compete against him, because I think he’s one of the best now.” He added: “I’m never afraid, I live for competition. But for me it’s too late now, I’m at the end of my career. We’ll never know what could happen.”
Bolt will compete in the 100m in Monaco — his third race of the season after appearances in Kingston and Ostrava — where he is hoping to dip under the 10-second barrier. “I’m feeling good, the season started off slow for me. I had a setback after my friend Germaine (Mason) passed away,” Bolt said, referring to death of the British high jumper, a 2008 Olympic silver medalist, in a motorbike crash in Jamaica in April.
“I’ve been a little behind schedule, but I am training well. I’m feeling much better over the past couple of days because I went to see my doctor in Germany, I’ve been training good so that’s a good sign.” – ‘It’s just time’ – Bolt was adamant there was little chance he would race again after the world championships but admitted he would likely stay involved with athletics.
“I’ve done everything that I possibly can in this sport,” he said, before alluding to a conversation he shared with American track great Michael Johnson, a four-time Olympic champion. “I asked (him) because I was surprised when I heard he retired. I said, ‘Why did you retire? You were dominating so much.’ And he said, ‘I’ve done everything I wanted to do, I’ve accomplished all my goals.’ And that’s how I feel at this point. I decided that it’s just time.” Bolt added: “There’s a lot of directions I could go, but one thing I know is that I’ll definitely be close with track and field.
“I’ll try my best to stay as close as possible to sport, stay in sports and try to educate young athletes coming up and what it’s all about to be a champion.” The Jamaican, an avid Manchester United fan, also admitted his dream of forging a professional football career after hanging up his spikes was no longer a priority.
“I really stressed that point too much… We’ve been looking into it and I’m really thinking about if I really want to go back into doing so much work right now,” said Bolt. “I haven’t totally given up on it but it’s something that I’m not really stressed about right now.”