By Ron Wynn
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, widely regarded as the greatest sprinter in history due to his domination in both the Olympics and World Championships, didn’t end his final races in the accustomed manner last week. First, Bolt lost his final 100-meter solo race in stunning fashion, finishing third while longtime rival Justin Gatlin finally defeated his nemesis in a championship final.
Then last Saturday Bolt suffered an injury while running the anchor leg for his Jamaican team in the 4 X100 meter relay. He was trying to make up ground when he just suddenly stumbled, somersaulted onto the track and lay there in pain. It was later determined he had suffered a cramp. He was helped to the finish line by his team Jamaica teammates.
Meanwhile, it was also a surprise outcome for America’s team. They were expected to win the 4 X 100 with Bolt in subpar condition, but instead they were defeated by the British tem and had to settle for the silver medal. A crowd of over 60,000 were at the world championships in London hoping to see Bolt go out undefeated and cap off a stellar career. But he not only lost in the 100, he didn’t qualify for the 200 final. It was evident that Bolt wasn’t 100 percent, and that his retirement was clearly coming at the right time.
“He is still the best in the world,” Gatlin told the Associated Press. Gatlin took home a gold and silver from these championships. But the bigger story was the end of the line for Usain Bolt, whose glittering international record is still the most impressive of all time for any sprinter, and among the greatest in track and field period.