MONTE-CARLO, CMC – Superstar sprinter Usain Bolt says he hopes to remain involved in athletics even after retiring following the London World Championships next month.
The Jamaican will compete in his final Diamond League here Friday before also bringing an end to his glittering career at the August 4-13 showpiece at the Olympic Stadium.
“There’s a lot of directions I could go, but one thing I know is that I’ll definitely be close with track and field,” the 30-year-old told reporters here.
“I’ll try my best to stay as close as possible to sport, stay in sports and try to educate young athletes coming up and what it’s all about to be a champion.”
Bolt will walk away from the sport as the most decorated sprinter ever after dominating every Olympic Games and World Championship since shooting to international stardom in 2008.
And after winning unprecedented double sprint titles at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympiads and also having similar success at the Berlin, Moscow and Beijing World Championships, Bolt said it was time to call it quits.
“I’ve done everything that I possibly can in this sport,” he said, before recalling a conversation he had with great former American track star Michael Johnson.
“I asked [him] because I was surprised when I heard he retired. I said, ‘Why did you retire? You were dominating so much.’ And he said, ‘I’ve done everything I wanted to do, I’ve accomplished all my goals.’ And that’s how I feel at this point. I decided that it’s just time.”
Bolt’s retirement has coincided with the rise of the exciting South African Wayde van Niekerk, the reigning World and Olympic 400 metres champion and record-holder.
Van Niekerk is tipped to dominate the 200 metres in the future but Bolt said the 25-year-old had arrived on the scene too late to forge a rivalry.
“I think that’s one of the most disappointing things in my career now. He came along at this late stage and I didn’t get to compete against him, because I think he’s one of the best now,” Bolt said.
“I’m never afraid, I live for competition. But for me it’s too late now, I’m at the end of my career. We’ll never know what could happen.”