Usain Bolt eyes 2017 worlds after relay gold at Commonwealth Games
Fastest man on the planet says he will continue to race beyond the 2016 Olympics after running the anchor leg for Jamaica at Glasgow event
Six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt stole the show at the Commonwealth Games by anchoring Jamaica to relay gold and then repeated his intention to continue competing until the world championships in 2017.
The world's fastest man had planned to retire after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games but reiterated comments made last September that he could delay those plans for another year.
"I've always said that after Rio I wanted to retire but they keep saying I should go on till 2017, so I think I might just do that and that will be my last championships," Bolt said.
He was speaking after picking up gold in the 4x100 metres relay, his first Commonwealth Games medal.
"This training thing is not so easy so I'm just so happy I've been able to do what I wanted in this sport," he added.
The 27-year-old Bolt is an eight-time world champion and holds the 100 and 200 metres world records.
He believes the worlds in London, where he won treble gold at the 2012 Olympics, in three years' time could be the place to retire and has consulted a former Olympic champion and current 400 metres world record holder about his plans.
"I asked Michael Johnson why he retired when he was on top and he told me there was nothing else for him to accomplish," said Bolt. "I think when you've accomplished everything you want then you should just retire," added the Jamaican.
On a wet track following torrential rain, Bolt gave the Commonwealth Games a display of showmanship and speed as he anchored Jamaica's 4x100-metre relay team to glory.
Jamaica raced ahead of England in a games-record 37.58 seconds as the six-time Olympic gold medallist became a Commonwealth champion for the first time, enhancing the status of an event that can appear an anachronism in the modern world.
"Even though it was cold, the energy was warm," Bolt said.
Many doubted whether Bolt would turn up in Glasgow, having skipped the past two editions and being sidelined with a left-foot injury earlier in 2014. The individual sprints were avoided, but the world's fastest man made it clear that he craved a Commonwealth gold in his already illustrious medal haul.
Now Bolt has that gold from a Hampden Park experience he undoubtedly savoured following a week when he was forced to deny making disparaging comments about Glasgow.
"The only bad thing about this place is the weather," Bolt said. "But I expected it."
There was, however, a pause in the showers when the biggest star of these games appeared on a track scattered with puddles and produced theatrics even more exuberant than usual. Before running 100 metres, Bolt danced along to the lyrics of Scottish pop anthem 500 Miles.
"It kind of helped me keep hyped up for the race," Bolt said.
After legs by Jason Livermore, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade, Bolt continued running beyond his 100 metres, draping himself in a Jamaican flag, a Scottish Saltire and tartan hat as he entertained the crowd and posed for pictures.
"This new thing about selfies is really making these laps of honours really long," Bolt said. "It used to be autographs, now everyone wants a selfie."
Reuters, Associated Press