After 16 years of competing on the international stage, fans of athletics will likely never see Usain Bolt run another competitive track race.
The Jamaican star and eight-time Olympic champion competed as part of his country’s 4x100m relay team at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships. Bolt, anchoring the team, pulled up and fell to the ground in agony as there was no heartwarming ending to his athletics career. He was clutching his leg on the ground. The Canadian Press writer Lori Ewing reports that Bolt was able to walk off the track under his own power.
The injury was later reported to be a hamstring cramp.
He finishes the 2017 IAAF World Championships with a bronze medal in the men’s 100m, his final-ever individual track race.
Great Britain won the men’s 4x100m relay in a fantastic race for the home team, winning in front of a packed crowd at the London Olympic Stadium. The gold-medal-winning time was 37.47 as the United States finished second and Japan finished third. Canada, without the likes of Andre De Grasse, finished sixth overall in 38.59.
“It’s a cramp in his left hamstring, but a lot of the pain is from disappointment from losing the race,” Jamaican team doctor Kevin Jones said. “The last three weeks have been hard for him, you know. We hope for the best for him.”
The race will certainly be remembered for the gut-wrenching way in which the sport’s greatest athlete was forced to end his career.
“It just happened,” Jamaican leadoff runner Omar McLeod said. “Usain Bolt’s name will always live on.”
The U.S. won the women’s relay, giving Allyson Felix her record-breaking 15th career world medal to pass Bolt.
In other events, Mo Farah, in the last championship track race of his career, lost a global final for the first time since 2011 with a silver in the 5000m. (VIDEO HERE)
Farah was overtaken by two Ethiopians with a lap to go and could not muster a strong enough kick to get back to the lead. His streak of Olympic and world titles ends at 10.
Farah came up the rail to finish second to Muktar Edris, .43 of a second behind the Ethiopian’s winning time of 13:32.79. American Paul Chelimo earned bronze after grabbing silver behind Farah in Rio.
A spent Farah lay on the track in tears. The 34-year-old is moving to road racing and marathons after this season.
“I gave it everything,” he told the crowd in a stadium interview before a montage played of his career highlights and fan messages, according to the IAAF.
Farah later said he “had nothing left” following last week’s 10,000m win.
Australian Sally Pearson upset world-record holder Kendra Harrison to win the 100m hurdles in 12.59 seconds.
Pearson, who captured the 2012 Olympic title on this track, capped a two-year comeback from a broken wrist and torn hamstring, which ultimately kept her out of Rio.
Dawn Harper-Nelson, silver medalist at the 2012 Olympics and gold medalist in 2008, took silver in 12.63 as the lone American medalist. Harper-Nelson failed to make the Rio Olympic team, getting eliminated in the Trials semifinals, and was fourth at the USATF Outdoor Championships in June, squeaking onto the world team.
Harrison took fourth in 12.74 seconds on the same track where set the world record of 12.20 last summer. She lost for the first time since shockingly failing to make the Rio team at last year’s Olympic Trials.