World Athletic’s Chief Lord Sebastien Coe, says Usain Bolt will retire as the Muhammad Ali of track and field, hanging up his spikes as the greatest sprinter of all time.Coe was at the Kingston’s National Stadium on Saturday to watch Bolt run his final race on Jamaican soil before he retires at the World Championships in London. In an interview with AFP, the International Association of athletics Federations Chief, Coe said he had been determined to pay homage to Bolt as his glittering career begins its victory lap.
For him it was just fascinating for those other people who had flown in from other continents to be there. People instinctively knew they were going to witness something that was going to be special and unique and they were not disappointed.Coe said Bolt will retire from the sport as the greatest sprinter of all time, a rare athlete who transcended his sport and appealed across the sporting spectrum after dominating at three consecutive Olympic Games. In his words Bolt has not just reached the level in terms of global presence because of three back to back Olympic Games or of the world records, but more so because of the charisma which he has not seen in track and field in his lifetime other than with Ali in boxing.
While Coe referenced the massive social contribution made by Jesse Owens in 1936, and while one cannot argue with the extraordinary contributions other sprinters have made, in the final analysis there is only one guy sitting at the top of the heap and you wouldn’t have a split jury on that.Coe said as a former Olympic gold medal winner in the 1500 meters he can understand why Bolt would want to bow out now. He probably has instinctively realized this is the right moment. There comes a point at which the candle flickers a bit, he said. No athlete wants to be asked the question why didn’t you retire sooner.
As far as he is concerned Bolt is comfortable in his own skin. He will always be a national treasure and that is just enough, just enough.