Athletics

Bolt: I won't come back and shame myself

Jamaican Usain Bolt said yesterday morning (Singapore time) that he was sad but also excited to bow out of athletics, adding that his disappointing World Championships in London would not change his career achievements.

Bolt brought down the curtain on his glittering career in dramatic fashion when he pulled up with a hamstring cramp halfway through his anchor leg in the 4x100m relay on Saturday.

That meant his final competitive race finished without a medal, after having sealed a bronze in the individual 100m behind American duo Justin Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, and Christian Coleman.

"It's been a rough couple of days," admitted the 30-year-old.

"I always tried my best 100 per cent all the time and put on a good show.

"I'm sad to be walking away now. I don't think one championships is going to change what I've done in this sport."

Often compared to American boxing great Muhammad Ali by IAAF president Sebastian Coe for not only his sporting prowess but also the charisma and larger-than-life personality he brought off-track, Bolt made the same link in a final press conference yesterday morning.

"I remember after losing the 100m, someone said to me, 'Usain, don't worry, Muhammad Ali lost his last fight also, so don't be stressed about it'."

"I've proven myself year in, year out," added the world-record holder in the 100m and 200m, winner of eight Olympic golds and 14 worlds medals since making his debut in Helsinki in 2005 when he finished eighth and last in the 200m final.

Bolt insisted that there would be no comeback.

"No! I've seen too many people return and come back to sport and shame themselves," he said with a wry smile.

"I won't be one of those people. I am looking forward to being free. It's exciting, I'm happy.

"My whole life has been track and field since I was 10. All I know is track. I need fun and to relax a little bit."

When asked what his legacy would be, Bolt said: "Continue trying in anything you do, it's a good message to the kids.

GOOD LEGACY

"Work hard, stay strong and push on. If you do that, you can be the best you can be. That's a good legacy to leave."

Meanwhile, British great Mo Farah wants to be known as "Mohamed" now that he is switching his focus to road racing.

"My road name is Mohamed," he said. "I just feel like Mo is done. I need to forget about what I've achieved and what I've done (on the track)."

Farah, 34, made the announcement after bringing the curtain down on his glittering track career by winning the 10,000m gold and 5,000m silver at the World Championships. - AFP

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