Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 May 2019

Legacy intact as Usain Bolt all set to end career in London at World Athletics Championships

World's fastest man has habit of hogging spotlight and that will be no different at London Stadium in August.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt, centre, crosses the finish line to win the men's 100m event at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting in Monaco on July 21. Valery Hache / AFP
Jamaica's Usain Bolt, centre, crosses the finish line to win the men's 100m event at the IAAF Diamond League athletics meeting in Monaco on July 21. Valery Hache / AFP

Usain Bolt brings the curtain down on an extraordinary career in London ready to turn the World Championships into his personal party.

The world's fastest man has a habit of hogging the spotlight and that will be no different at the London Stadium in August. His, expected, final global races come in the capital with Bolt aiming to once again dominate the 100-metre and relay.

The Jamaican's legacy will remain, even if he is due to hand back one of his nine Olympic medals - 4x100m relay gold from Beijing - due to Nesta Carter's positive drug test from 2008.

Last summer in Rio Bolt ended his Olympic career with three more medals, defending the 100m, 200m and 4x100m crowns he won in London.

"I've worked hard every Olympics to win three gold medals," Bolt said after bowing out of Olympic competition. "I've proven to the world I am the greatest. I am just happy I've accomplished so much and I'm relieved. I'll miss the crowds, the energy and the competition. It has been a great career."

Bolt prepares in the English weather

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This year he returns to the capital knowing he is as revered in England as much as anywhere else in the world.

Bolt captured the imagination of the British public at London 2012 as he dominated and defended his individual titles for the first time. Such is his appeal Bolt's exit will distract from the British challenge which - despite being the hosts - could be lacking gold medals.

Mo Farah aside there are dwindling golden hopes for the hosts, even if Laura Muir will look to win the 1500m and 3,000m. Farah is quitting the track to focus on the marathon and will bring the curtain down at the Birmingham Diamond League a week after the championships. The four-time Olympic champion won his first two gold medals in 2012.

On Super Saturday five years ago, along with Jessica Ennis-Hill's heptathlon win and Greg Rutherford's long-jump triumph, he won the 10,000m before adding the 5,000m.

Muir, fresh from just missing out on Zola Budd's British mile record, could also take a slice of Farah's thunder as she becomes the next long-distance star.

Wins in the 1500m and 3,000m at the European Indoors in March were her first senior triumphs and Muir will challenge for gold in the 1500m and 5,000m.

The Scot is the next golden hope with Katarina Johnson-Thompson yet to make that world class breakthrough and Adam Gemili's falling star only seeing him selected for the 4x100m relay squad.

Instead it is CJ Ujah, who ran 9.98 seconds in the Diamond League meet in Morocco in June, who is the sprinter in form.

Hurdler Andrew Pozzi will aim to build on his 60m European Indoor title in March with Asha Philip, who also won in Belgrade, looking to transfer her 60m form to the 100m.

Sophie Hitchon, who won bronze in the hammer in Rio, will challenge again while Matthew Hudson-Smith could cause a surprise in the 200m - although, like Ujah in the 100m - will not beat Bolt.

While it is a London games, it is still likely to be Bolt stealing the show.

Updated: July 28, 2017 10:11 AM



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