Athletics-Bolt treasured by Jamaicans not only for his speed

Posted June 11, 2017

But Bolt, who considers Jamaican sprint icons the late Herb McKenley and Don Quarrie, both Olympic gold medallists, among his role models, wants to put on a show in his last run on home soil, a 100 metres at the National Stadium.

On Saturday Bolt was determined to put on a spectacle as he won the 100 metre "Salute to a Legend" race in front of a raucous crowd of 30,000 on the same track where he launched his worldwide career in 2002.

The legendary Usain St Leo Bolt said goodbye to the National Stadium in fine style, when he left the rest of the field in his wake in the 100m Salute To A Legend race at the JN Grand Prix this evening.

"I know it's going to be a lot of emotions on the day because it's my last time", the 30-year-old multiple Olympic and world champion told Reuters in a recent interview while working out at the gym.

More news: No bond for woman accused of leaking top-secret documents

The Jamaican speedster says his farewell season is more about saying thank you to his fans than trying to break his world records of 9.58 seconds in the 100 metres and 19.19 seconds in the 200 metres. "I don't think I've ever been that nervous running a 100m", Bolt said after a lap of honour before a packed stadium, including International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe and the top brass of Jamaican politics including Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

"This year is no different, so it was tough, and I have to focus on what I need to do and I know my friend would want me to go out there and do my best as always and to be strong and to be focused on what needs to be done".

Mason was born in Jamaica and trained with the Stephen Francis-coached MVP Track Club before switching allegiance to Great Britain in 2006. "I enjoy just playing with the crowd, feeling the energy and just competing in front of them. that's what I'm going to miss about track and field". It's big to see everybody turn out.

“If I can have a great start and try to hold the lead that would be great. Bolt was one of the pallbearers at the funeral.

More news: Darjeeling reels under violence over Bengali language issue

"My execution was bad and my start was poor", he said of Saturday's race. Bolt's time would have placed him third in Blake's heat.

Van Niekerk said Bolt deserves the respect of his peers as he signs off for the last time.

Saturday night's meet will also feature Olympic champions Allyson Felix, Mo Farah, David Rudisha and Wayde van Niekerk.

More news: Strawberry Moon Is Coming, What Exactly Does That Mean?