Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt insists this “emotional” season will indeed be his last, bringing the curtain down on a glittering career which galvanised track and field at a time of doping and corruption scandals.
Bolt has won eight Olympic and 11 world gold medals in his career, but importantly was the outgoing, larger-than-life personality on whom athletics administrators could rely for a positive slant, an athlete widely recognised globally.
Asked whether he might carry on after this season, Bolt said: “No, I don’t think so!
“It’s just been a great career, I’ve really enjoyed the ups and downs, all the experience I’ve gathered, all I’ve been through, the happiness and the sadness.
“It’s been a wonderful career and I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do and it’s coming to an end and I’m fine with it.”
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s IAAF World Challenge meet in the northeastern Czech city of Ostrava, Bolt admitted that the season was an emotional one.
It started with a home swansong in Kingston before taking Ostrava, the Diamond League meet in Monaco in July and the World Athletics Championships in London.
“It’s an emotional season. I’m looking forward to going out there and putting on a show for the fans for the last time because they look forward to it,” said Bolt.
“Right now personally, I’m just focused on getting through the season. I just like entertaining the crowd. I definitely want to try and enjoy ever minute of it – it won’t be the same sat in the stadium.
“The fact that I know it’s that last time it will be emotional, just seeing it and feeling, being around people and athletes, sitting in the meal room around everybody, joking and laughing about old times, it’ll be emotional.”