Usain Bolt collapses in final race, Great Britain seal 4x100m relay gold | other sports | Hindustan Times
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Usain Bolt collapses in final race, Great Britain seal 4x100m relay gold

Usain Bolt’s illustrious athletics career finished on a painful and shocking note at the IAAF World Championships, the iconic sprinter pulling up with an injury as Great Britain claimed a shock gold in the men’s 4x100m relay.

other sports Updated: Aug 13, 2017 07:47 IST
Agencies  
Usain Bolt’s final race ended in disappointment as he suffered a muscle cramp before the end of the 4x100m relay final which was won by Great Britain.
Usain Bolt’s final race ended in disappointment as he suffered a muscle cramp before the end of the 4x100m relay final which was won by Great Britain. (REUTERS)

Usain Bolt’s unparalleled career ended in extraordinary drama as he pulled up with injury on the anchor leg of his very last race, the 4x100 metres relay final at the World Championships.

Bolt received the baton with Jamaica in third, but halfway down the finishing straight the towering sprinter pulled up clutching his left thigh, eventually doing a forward somersault to the ground, to gasps from the 60,000 sell out London Stadium.

The British quartet of Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Daniel Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake claimed gold in 37.47 seconds, with the Justin Gatlin-led US four taking silver at 0.05sec and Japan a surprise bronze (38.04).

(Read | Dafne Schippers retains 200m crown at IAAF World Championships)

Bolt missed out on his bid to retain his 100m title earlier in the week, losing out to Gatlin and silver medallist Christian Coleman, who ran relay anchor for the Americans on Saturday.

But hopes were high for Bolt’s final competitive race, with Jamaica also boasting newly-crowned 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod, Julian Forte and Yohan Blake in their line-up.

Jamaica were afforded a rousing welcome from the crowd, a relaxed-looking Bolt applauding the stands, with pictures of him constantly shown on the stadium’s big screens.

(Read | Why Neeraj Chopra failed to qualify for IAAF World Championship finals)

Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, and the US team also including another convicted doping cheat, Mike Rodgers, and Jaylen Bacon were booed when introduced although the jeering was less pronounced than for the individual 100m event.

A close first three legs saw Britain, the United States and Jamaica, seeking a fifth consecutive world title, level-pegged for the final leg.

High drama

But there was to be high drama as a visibly swearing Bolt pulled up in obvious pain, allowing the Japanese quartet to edge in for third.

The result means Bolt, 100 and 200m world record holder, finishes his career with 14 world career medals, one behind American Allyson Felix, to go with eight Olympic golds.

Amid wild home celebrations, Bolt was attended to by medics, but refused a ride in a wheelchair off the track, instead finally getting up and limping alongside his teammates through to the finish line and then off into the bowels of the stadium for treatment.

It was a sad exit for an athlete who has lit up the track when the sport has been dragged through its worst-ever crisis, racked by doping and corruption scandals that went to the very heart of athletics’ governing body.

And what a gaping hole his absence will leave, no matter how brave a face the IAAF try to put on it.

Since confirming his sprinting dominance with triple gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt spent nine seasons amassing 19 global golds, 13 of which have come in individual events.

Allied with a charismatic personality, it has guaranteed Bolt recognition as one of the world’s most successful sportsmen. Last year alone he earned $34.2 million, according to Forbes.