Jacques Rogge tries to defuse Usain Bolt row, calling the Jamaican sprinter 'an active performance legend'


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The Independent Online

IOC president Jacques Rogge attempted to defuse a rumbling row with Usain Bolt today by describing him as "an active performance legend" and the best sprinter of all time.

Rogge said last week that Bolt had to do yet more to be regarded as 'a legend' - sparking an angry reaction from the sprinter, who after last night's 4x100m triumph demanded the IOC leader should say what more he could do.

Rogge, who has previously criticised Bolt's showmanship, appeared to back-track today.

He told a news conference: "It is a semantic question but you would say that Usain Bolt is an active performance legend, an icon and the best sprinter of all time."

Rogge also proclaimed that the London 2012 Olympics has been "a dream for sports lovers".

He said that history had been made by many athletes and that Britain's record medal haul had been hugely important for the overall success of the Games.

He said: "I am a very happy and grateful man - very happy with the Games and very grateful to LOCOG [the London Organising Committee].

"On July 6, London promised an athletes' Games and that's exactly what we got. History has been written by many, many athletes - the double treble of Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Sir Chris Hoy, Ben Ainslie, Andy Murray winning his first major title... I could go on.

"A magic moment was David Rudisha and his 800m, this was beauty in action.

"London was a dream for a sports lover, but I think it's very unfair to compare Games at different times and different circumstances and different countries.

"I have said since the awarding of the Games in Singapore that we need home gold medals and that is so important for the mood of the general public. We had to wait two days but then it accelerated, it has been fantastic

"We are saying exactly the same for our Brazilian friends for Rio."