Sebastian Coe says Usain Bolt is 'clearly a legend'
Friday 10 August 2012
Sebastian Coe insists that Usain Bolt is already a legend - despite the
president of the International Olympic Committee stating the Jamaican
sprinter will need to star at even more Games before he can attain that
IOC president Jacques Rogge's downplaying of Bolt's achievements follows his criticism of the sprinter's showboating four years ago, but London 2012 chairman Coe has no doubts.
Coe said: "Usain Bolt is clearly a legend - no one else has ever won back-to-back 100 metres and 200 metres."
Rogge said yesterday that while Bolt was an icon he was not yet on the same level as Carl Lewis, the American former sprinter and long-jumper who won Olympic titles at each Games from 1984 to 1996.
Rogge, speaking before the 200m final, said: "If you look at the career of Carl Lewis, he had [four] consecutive Games with a medal. Let Usain Bolt be free of injury, let him keep his motivation which I think will be the case ... Let him participate in three, four Games, and he can be a legend."
Bolt said after his 200m triumph last night he had "no respect" for Lewis, who in 2008 voiced claims about the Jamaica drug-testing programme.
"I think a lot of these guys who sit and talk, especially Lewis, no-one really remembers who he is, so he is just looking for attention. That is my opinion," said Bolt.
"It is really annoying to know that people are trying to taint the sport. The sport has been going forward. For someone to say that without any proof is really annoying. We work hard. We push ourselves to the limits."
"I am going to say something controversial right now: Carl Lewis, I have no respect for him. The things he says about the track athletes is really downgrading, for another athlete to be saying something like that about other athletes."
Coe said today that Kenyan David Rudisha's world record run in the 800m was the outstanding performance of the Games.
"It was the way he did it," said Coe, who held the world record in Rudisha's event from 1981 to 1997.
"This was an Olympic final and to express such physical and mental confidence was remarkable.
"I'm probably biased when but when we look across every sporting event in these Games that will be the standout performance."
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