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In February 2015, Usain Bolt announced that he intends to retire from athletics after the 2017 World Championships in London. That time has come and everyone is wondering whether the Jamaican sprinter will leave on a high, securing his ‘lightening bolt’ legacy. This month, London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will light up for a spectacular Summer of World Athletics – the biggest global sporting event of the year and London’s biggest sporting event since the 2012 Olympics. Taking place from 5-13 August, the world’s top athletes will compete for a place on the podium and all eyes are going to be on Usain, who is the most successful athlete of the World Championships. The London Championships are the 16th in the event’s 34-year history with the first IAAF World Championships being hosted in Helsinki in 1983. The most recent Championships in Beijing 2015 saw 1931 athletes participate from a record 207 national federations. Kenya topped the medal table for the first time in its history, winning 16 medals. USA has topped the medal table on 10 occasions. 30-year-old Usain, who will turn 31 on 21st August, is the first person to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records, as well as holding the world record as part of the 4 x 100 metres relay. Widely considered to be the greatest sprinter of all time and an eight-time Olympic gold medallist, Usain is the only sprinter to win Olympic 100m and 200m titles at three consecutive Olympics, a feat referred to as the triple double. His achievements as a sprinter have earned him a number of awards including IAAF World Athlete of the Year and Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, four times. Whilst many people want Usain to continue his success, the man himself has said he has no regrets regarding the announcement as he has achieved everything he wants to. “I’ve just done everything I wanted to do in the sport,” Usain told Reuters. “I asked (former US sprinter) Michael Johnson the same question, ‘why did you retire when you were on top?’ He said the same - he had done everything he had wanted to do in athletics so there was no reason to stay in the sport. Now I understand what he means.” However, the 6’3 athlete hopes his last race in London this August won’t be emotional. “To be actually in the stadium and know that this is it, you never know... what will I do? What should I say? How should I go about it? But I haven’t come up with anything solid yet. I’m open. Hopefully it’s not too emotional.” He may be hanging up his spikes, but one thing’s for sure – Usain Bolt will leave athletics as a legend. We wish him the best of luck! n A LIGHTENING BOLT LEGACY Image credit: Shahjehan/Shutterstock.com


60_14_August_2017online
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