SPORTbible Discusses Usain Bolt With Darren Campbell
When Usain Bolt hangs up his spikes sprinting, athletics and sport may never be the same again. We discussed his retirement with former sprinter Darren Campbell.
In a time when incredible achievements in sport, and especially athletics, are met with cynical questions from us all about doping one man has been above all that, Bolt.
Eight Olympic gold medals, three current world records, and many more breaking his own times and 11 World Championships golds, no one has got close to Usain Bolt in his 10 years at the top of the sport.
Bolt's 100m world record from 2009 still stands. Image: PA
London 2017 will be the last time we see Bolt in a major championships and it's likely to be the last time he competes at all.
His races may be over quicker than any other race in the history of sport but he has brought us more joy than anyone else.
But what are the chances of the man who warmed up for an Olympic 100m final by eating chicken nuggets of defending his world title? We spoke to former sprinter Darren Campbell:
Always with a smile. Image: PA
"It's Usain Bolt's final major championships and he'll want to go out on a high. I hope that he gets the fairytale ending he deserves.
"Saying that this will be the time that sprinters from across the world should believe they have a chance of beating him and if any of them can actually make themselves believe they can beat him then they've got a chance
"He's not in the shape that he'd like to be in but he's Usain Bolt. He knows what it takes, he's got the experience and he's got that fear factor so it's whether they believe they can beat him."
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The most perfect image ever. Image: Olivier Morin
That's the thing really, Bolt has always known how to get it done at the big championships. At the World's in 2015 it was Justin Gatlin who had the world leading time going into the race but he just couldn't beat Bolt.
But the 30 year old, who will turn 31 at the end of August, isn't just about medals and Campbell, now a pundit with BBC Sport, explained exactly what Bolt has meant to the sport:
He's got more than one pose. Image: PA
"I don't think anyone will be able to take his place [as the face of the sport] when he's retired.
"He's taken our sport and reminded everyone what it's all about. Competing fairly, honestly, giving your best but most importantly having fun and with a smile, enjoying every single moment.
"None of us like losing but take defeats as well as you take victories and I think that's what Usain Bolt has brought to our sport. He's brought a humility, an understanding, he's carried the weight of the sport.
"During a period that was so dark he gave us light and gave us hope that the sport is clean, give us something to believe in- that you can still perform well in without taking drugs. He always did it with joy. He entertained himself but most importantly he entertained the public."
The first of his Olympic golds, he had time to pose. Image: PA
And that last line sums up Bolt perfectly.
Now we just hope for the fairytale ending, after 10 years of watching him we'd be foolish to rule it out.
The World Athletics Championships 2017 on the BBC will be broadcast across TV, radio and online from the 4th-13th August.
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