Bolt calls halt to his disappointing season after back injury strikes

It came as another Bolt from the blue. Four days after the jolt of Usain Bolt's shock 100m defeat in the DN Galan meeting in Stockholm last Friday, it was announced yesterday that the world's fastest man had brought a premature end to his injury-plagued, below-par track season following the diagnosis of a back problem. There will be no re-match with Tyson Gay at the Ivo Van Damme Memorial meeting in Brussels on 27 August.

On reflection, like Bolt's reverse against Gay in the Swedish capital, it was perhaps not entirely unexpected. It was clear in Stockholm that the Jamaican sprinter was a pale shadow of the invincible speed merchant of the Beijing Olympics two years ago and the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. An Achilles tendon injury had taken its toll, together with a lack of motivation in a summer season bereft of the big goal of a global championship.

After being examined in Munich on Monday by Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt – "Healing Hans", the Bayern Munich and German national football team doctor whose client list has included Luciano Pavarotti and Cristiano Ronaldo – the 23-year-old and his advisers quite wisely chose not to risk any further damage this summer and to concentrate on getting the "Lightning Bolt" back to full power for the defence of his World Championship 100m and 200m crowns at Daegu in South Korea next year.

A statement released by Bolt's manager, Ricky Simms, revealed that Müller-Wohlfahrt had "found a problem in his lower back". "He has a tightness that restricts his ability to generate power in his stride," Simms added, "and continuing to race in this condition could risk injury to his hamstrings or calf muscles. With a view to his future career we believe further treatment to loosen his back followed by a period of rest will be in his best interest. We are delighted to report that the MRI scan on his Achilles tendon showed that it has now completely healed."

In addition to the long-arranged 100m race in Brussels, against the American Gay and his Jamaican compatriot Asafa Powell, Bolt had also been due to compete in a 4x100m relay at the Weltklasse meeting in Zurich on Thursday week. "I am very disappointed to miss two of the top meetings on the circuit," Bolt said yesterday, "but I trust that it is better for me not to take any risks this year. The next two years, 2011 and 2012, are very important championship years and I hope to be back fully fit and healthy. I would like to thank everyone for their support and look forward to coming back stronger next year."

In Stockholm, Bolt was only strong enough to run 9.97sec – 0.39sec down on the world record he established for the 100m in the World Championship final in Berlin last August. Still, even while a long way short of top gear, he has recorded the joint fastest 100m time in the world this year (alongside Powell), 9.82sec, and the fastest 200m time, 19.56sec.

What will Bolt miss?

Usain Bolt had already pulled out of this weekend's Crystal Palace meeting due to tax reasons, as well as October's Commonwealth Games in order to rest, but the Jamaican will now also miss the Diamond League meetings in Zurich on 19 August and Brussels on 27 August.

The Brussels meeting would have brought together the three fastest men in history – Bolt, his countryman Asafa Powell and the American Tyson Gay.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there