Usain Bolt confirms plan to retire after Rio de Janeiro Olympics
But he plans to continue his dominance of the sport until then as he looks to become the most successful sprinter of all time
Usain Bolt has reiterated his desire to retire after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics once he has completed his plan of attack over the next three years.
Bolt currently holds both the 100m and 200m world records as well as the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Gold in both each event – along with the Jamaican relay team success at both events – and he has identified his own targets that will ensure he bows out a true legend of the sport.
Along with Gold in Rio, Bolt hopes to set another 200m world record next year as well as adding Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“If I'm in great shape and I go there and do what I have to do, I think it would be a good time to retire on top and having dominated for so long,” Bolt claimed.
Bolt left the World Athletics Championships in Moscow this summer with another three Gold medals to his name, and he will take part in his final race of the season in the 100m at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels on Friday.
Bolt has spoken before of the Rio Games being his final swansong, but he has admitted that he was finding it hard to raise the motivation earlier in the season to continue his domination of the sport.
“I couldn't find that goal, that drive to get going again,” Bolt admitted. “I sat down and thought to myself ‘what do I really want? And what can I do in this sport some more?’
“I've made up my mind that if I want to be among the greats of Ali, Pele and all these guys I have to continue dominating until I retire.
“I'm really focused on getting every season correct, trying not to get injured, and just continue dominating so at the end of my career people will put me among the greats.”
The 27-year-old is yet to be beaten on track when in a major final, with his only failure to-date coming at the 2011 World Athletics Championships 100m final in Daegu when a jump start saw him disqualified.
His notorious slow starts have not hampered him in surging past the rest of the field to build a lead, with the sprinter even having a tendency to ease off the gas before he’s even reached the finish line.
Just three athletes have more Olympic medals that Bolt’s current haul of six, and another three Gold medals in Rio will take him to the top of the Athletic records.
Bolt also laughed off claims from disgraced sprinter Ben Johnson, who suggested he could’ve beaten the Jamaican if the two were competing at the same time.
“Everybody says everything to get into the media and stir up a little bit, but he could never beat me," Bolt said of the Canadian’s comments.
“That's just him trying to get some attention. I don't see Ben Johnson beating me at any time.”
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