Wednesday 21 August, 2019

Usain Bolt clocks 10.03 to win final race in Jamaica

Global sprint sensation Usain Bolt reacts at the finish line after he marked an emotional farewell at a sell-out National Stadium in Jamaica by winning his final race on home soil on Saturday night.

Global sprint sensation Usain Bolt reacts at the finish line after he marked an emotional farewell at a sell-out National Stadium in Jamaica by winning his final race on home soil on Saturday night.

Global sprint sensation Usain Bolt recovered from a scrappy start to win his final race on home soil - the “Salute To A Legend” 100m dash - at the second JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium on Saturday night.

Competing in front of a sell-out stadium, Bolt looked very sloppy in the early stages, but quickly took command before powering home with the flash time showing 9.65 seconds, which send his 30,000 adoring fans at the venue in wild celebration on an emotional night.

Another flash on the clock showed 10.03 seconds as the winning time, in what was the first 100m race of the 2017 track and field season for the double world record holder.

It was a one-two-three finish for Jamaica with Jevaughn Minzie finishing second in 10.15 and Warren Weir, third in 10.18.

The meet was dubbed ‘Salute to a Legend,’  and was used to celebrate the achievements of the world's fastest man, who intends to retire after the London World Championships in August.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and International Association of Athletics Federations president Sebastian Coe witnessed Bolt's farewell inside the stadium.

Following his victory, the 100m and 200m world record holder took a lap of honour with the crowd cheering him on while fireworks lit the night sky. After his lap of honour he left a kiss on the finishing line and then turned to the stadium to strike his signature lighgting bolt' pose.

Bolt said he was nervous at the start of his final race at home.

He said, "the run, it was just OK. I must say it was OK. I don't think I've ever been that nervous running a 100m."

Bolt added: "Just the atmosphere and the people, the support they came out and gave me, it was really nerve-racking.

"I never expected this, I knew it was going to be big, the stadium was ram-packed so thank you guys for coming out and supporting me."

Bolt was also in a reflective mood, which follows the death of his close friend, former Jamaica and Great Britain sprinter Germaine Mason.

"After my friend's death it was really hard for me, I have never been through something like this.

"I had to take some time but I knew what I had to do and I knew Germaine would want me to do this. This was special.

"There are no words, from World Juniors the support that I have been getting from Jamaica has been remarkable. 

"I could not have done this without my parents, my friends, my best friend NJ, I want to thank Jamaica, I never expected this. 

"It's big to see everybody turn out, it shows that they appreciated what I did and it was a honour for me."

The legendary Jamaican sprinter will go down as a sporting great regardless of whether he signs off in style in London on the track at the venue that hosted the 2012 Olympics.

The Jamaican enjoyed a stellar Rio Olympics in 2016 when he sensationally secured the 'treble treble' - three sprinting gold medals in three consecutive Olympics - and finished his Olympic career with nine gold medals, a 100 per cent win record in finals.

But in January 2017, Bolt saw his haul of Olympic golds diminish to eight, as the International Olympic Committee stripped Jamaica of the men's 4x100-metre relay crown they claimed in Beijing in 2008, Nesta Carter having tested positive for a banned substance when a sample was re-examined. 

The 30-year-old Bolt has three events left before retirement  -  Ostrava on June 28, Monaco on July 21 and the August 4-13 World Championships in London, United Kingston.

A stellar line-up was compiled for Bolt's send off with Olympic champions Wayde van Niekerk, David Rudisha, Mo Farah, Christian Taylor and Allyson Felix all making the trip to pay tribute to the sport’s biggest star.

Van Niekerk, Farah, Taylor and Felix also secured victories on the night.

South African Van Niekerk, who stunned the world when clocking 43.03 seconds in the men's 400m final to eclipse Michael Johnson's 17-year-old world record and won gold at Rio 2016, turned in the most impressive performance on the night.

He recorded the fastest time in the world this year to win the men's 200 metres. Van Niekirk clocked 19.84 seconds for the victory to easily beat Jamaican Rasheed Dwyer, who did 20,.11. Warren Weir finished third in 20.18 seconds.



Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: