Athletics

Usain Bolt and his teammates.

Jamaican team not happy with World Championships organisers

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In a dramatic penultimate night at the World Championships in London, the GB 100m relay team stormed home in record time to take a second gold medal for the host nations.

But, it was also a night tinged with sadness, with Jamaican hopes evaporating as anchor Usain Bolt pulled up with cramp.

Struck down by an apparent hamstring tear, a wheelchair was brought to him, before he was eventually helped to his feet and able to limp away.

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And oh how it wasn't meant to be like this.  

Bolt - the world's fastest man -  the clean athlete who had lifted athletics from the spectre of drugs cheats and had brought showmanship to the sport with his lightning bolt, whose achievements have transcended the sport with four Laureas World Sportsman of the Year awards, and had a movie "I am Bolt" made about him - had pulled up helplessly as he sought to chase down the Brits and US anchors on the home stretch.

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Teammates blamed organisers, who had kept them waiting for 40 minutes whilst medal ceremonies were conducted, for his demise.

An exasperated Omar Blake said: “It was ridiculous man, we were there around 45 minutes waiting outside. I think they had three medal ceremonies before we went out.”

Yohan Blake added: “They were holding us too long in the call room. The walk was too long. Usain was really cold.

“Usain said to me, 'Yohan, I think this is crazy’. We keep warming up and waiting, then warming up and waiting. I think it got the better of us.

ATHLETICS-WORLD-2017

“We were over warm. And to see a true legend, a true champion go out there and struggling like that.”

But, it was just the same for the victors, as indeed it was for all the finalists.

"They beat everyone fair and square," former Olympic great Michael Johnson.

"They delivered on a night when everyone was here - not necessarily to see this. Adam Gemili was just ridiculous down the back stretch. An amazing and outstanding performance from that British team," Johnson told BBC Sport.

For every great in sport, the big question is when to retire - to bow out at the top or risk tarnishing one's legacy in pursuit of one final triumph.

16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Nine

Only last year, at the Rio Olympics, the eight-time Olympic gold medallist had taken a clean sweep in the 100m, 200m, and 4 x 100m relay.

As his world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 metres lives on, his legacy will only have been diminished slightly by the events of the last week when his only medal was a bronze in the individual 100metres.

But, the question of whether he should have ditched his spikes a year earlier will nevertheless be one he will have much time to ponder as he begins a new life away from the track. 

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Topics:
Justin Gatlin
Usain Bolt
Tyson Gay
Commonwealth Games
Mo Farah
World Championships
Team GB
Olympics
Athletics

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