Athletics dismisses Usain Bolt with joy and distrust

Until the last, Usain Bolt does not lose his relaxed and mocking essence. But from his latest statements, there is also a certain air of reflection in the 30-year-old Jamaican sprinter. Bolt arrives at the end of an inimitable career as the fastest man on the planet, the owner of eight Olympic gold medals and world records of 100, 200 and 4x100 meters. "Anyone who can decide to retire because he thinks it's the right time, gets the best feelings," Bolt said to ESPN this week in London, the scene of his last world championship and starting on Friday. "That means you're satisfied with what you did."

The script for the appointment seems elaborated so that it is dismissed at the top, regardless of their modest performances during this season. His favoritism is further accentuated by the absence of Andre De Grasse, the most careful opponent he had in the 100 and who resigned at the last minute due to a thigh injury. Dosing energies, Bolt clocked 9.95 in the middle of last month in Monaco. It was the 50th time in his career in which he went below 10 seconds. But that record barely left him as the seventh best of the year.

Although he has not lost since 2013, when Justin Gatlin beat him by a hundredth of a second in Rome, doubts persist about the portentous Caribbean who wore this week with the logo "Forever fastest" (always the fastest) of his sponsor Cougar. And until the last, those doubts irritate Bolt. After all, something similar occurred in 2015 and 2016: after physical problems and discreet results, it ended up imposing its will at the decisive moments. It also happened in the anteroom for the London 2012 Games, in which many gave as favorites to his countryman Yohan Blake after inflicting a pair of defeats in Jamaica.Follow some of the best soccer predictions on "For some reason, they underestimate me," Bolt said of the 100. "That's what my team is insisting on, so I'll have to go out and show them who I am again, but I'm always confident in my abilities. hundred".

"The last 100 meters race I played was 9.95, which indicates that I'm in the right direction, this is about who can with nerves," he added. "I have been in these instances so many times, I know by heart what to do". The most prudent thing is to accept Bolt's word in front of the challenges of Blake and the Americans Gatlin and Christian Coleman. The qualifiers open the competition program on Friday in London and the final is scheduled for Saturday. This time he will not compete in the 200 - his favorite test - and the final closure will be with the relay 4x100, on Saturday, August 12.

That's the big question: What will athletics be without Bolt? In all these years in which athletics was rocked by doping and corruption scandals, the immense figure of Bolt was always the antidote that toned the sport. Now there is no one capable of succeeding him. Sebastian Coe, the president of the International Athletics Federation, freely admits this when he uses the example of boxing with Muhammad Ali. "Our sport will have to work hard to ensure that the world sees that this is a sport that goes beyond Usain Bolt," said Coe. "It's a bit like Ali, it does not replace an Ali.".

"What we will miss the most will be his personality, we look for athletes with personality," said Coe. "It's a luxury to have someone with that power of convocation to fill a stadium." Apart from the debut of Bolt, the first day of the World Cup will award a single title, the 10,000. That is the test of Mo Farah, the long-distance runner born in Somalia and British by adoption. Farah has been the king of distance, with a pair of world titles and two other Olympic golds, including the London 2012 Games. He also plans to run in the 5,000 before ending his track competitions, since from the next The season will concentrate on the marathon.