What would track and field be like after Usain Bolt? The sprint icon thinks the sport is not as fun as it used to be, so he is only 50-50 to make it to London in 2017. We’d like to add that he is getting older and now finds competing and training “much harder” than he used to.
The 29-year-old, who blew away his biggest rival Justin Gatlin twice to take gold in the 100m and 200m at the World Championships in Beijing last week, had been widely expected to replicate those feats in at the 2017 World Championships in London. In an interview with the BBC, Bolt revealed:
I really want to run at London, but I think the sport is not as fun as it used to be…It’s more taxing. I can’t enjoy it as much as I want to because I have to be sacrificing a lot more, so, uh, it’s 50-50, I’m telling you. […] After Rio, as I said, my sponsors want me to go one more year, but my coach said, “Listen to me, if you’re not going to be serious about going to the World Championships in London,” then I shouldn’t do it.
Sports Illustrated suggests there might be other factors influencing the decision. “Bolt’s contract with Puma, reportedly worth $10m, runs through the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. Upon his retirement, Bolt will be paid $4m per year as a Puma ambassador,” it states. Whatever he decides, we should be grateful to watch the legacy of Usain Bolt takes form in real life, not one we read about.
So it’s all about how I feel after Rio and if I feel I can really put my body through one more season. If I’m going to be focused and I’m going to be determined. That will determine if I compete after Rio. So we’ll see where it goes.
Watch Bolt’s press conference answer about his retirement plans below at 16:57-minute mark.