Usain Bolt's last race, London 2017 4x100m relay

Lynette Rowe
August 13, 2017

The victor of every individual Olympic and world championships final in the 100 and 200 that he has started-Bolt was disqualified for a false start in the 100 at the 2011 world championships-he couldn't walk down the United States' 21-year-old Christian Coleman (second in 9.94), who burst out of the starting blocks, and was unable to hold off Gatlin's frantic push over the last 30 meters of the battle.

Because Bolt made us all his fans.

This much was attested to by no other athletic personality than the legendary Michael Johnson whose 200 meters record Bolt shattered. Is this because many a fan is unaware or because Gatlin also beat the man we all wanted to win, Usain Bolt? Bolt now holds the world record of 9.58 seconds, set during the 2009 World Athletics Championships finals in Berlin, Germany.

In the past, the scene after a Bolt race was really just an after-party masquerading as ceremony, filled with Bob Marley tunes, Jamaican flags and dancing.

It's okay though, after retiring from racing, Bolt looks nearly certain to pursue a career as a GAA player.

The question on the lips of concerned sport enthusiasts the world over is: "What happens to athletics after the exit of Usain Bolt?"

Bolt complained about the starting blocks at the World Championships after his semi-final heat victory on Friday night.

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Bolt routinely slowed down before crossing the finish line. In that period, his amassed six gold medals in the 100m race, seven gold medals in the 200m race and six gold medals in 4x100m event. While other cocky athletes such as Muhammad Ali, Terrell Owens, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Deion Sanders caused a legion of sports fans to hate them for their antics, Bolt somehow managed to playfully charm his way into almost universal love and support.

Even as he posed for all the selfies afterwards, demonstrating a grace and sportsmanship that proved him just as big a victor in rare defeat, it still felt wrong, a desperately downbeat way to depart for a sportsman who has brought so much joy to all.

Now Bolt finds himself at the end of his career.

The top three from each of the two heats and next two fastest finishers from the remaining qualify for the final round. Not Bolt; he just made it seem like a bit of fun.

Never mind the sight of Justin Gatlin and Ramil Guliyev winning Bolt's events and creating a feeling of queasiness to match the worst symptoms of the London 2017 norovirus. "I came out and did the best I could". However, Bolt was all smiles and gracious in defeat.

Finally, to see so many other athletes being awarded medals at these championships in respect of previous games is most definitely just desserts for all concerned and great to see British athletes Jessica Ennis Hill and Jo Pavey being awarded gold and bronze medals which goes back to the Championships of 2011 and 2007.

The $34.2 million for 2017 tracks slightly higher than 2016, when Forbes pegged Bolt's earnings at $32.5 million. He is an 11-time World Champion. If that doesn't surprise you, consider this, Bolt's fastest speed in a race is 27.79 miles per hour.

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