Usain Bolt, more human than ever
It’s not the way he would’ve wanted his illustrious career to end, but Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter in history, bid farewell to his sport by tearing his hamstring in the final of the 4x100m and ending up writhing in agony on the ground.
Surprisingly, the British relay quartet eased to victory with a time of 37.47 – the third fastest in history.
The U.S., with individual gold and silver medallists Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman running the second and fourth legs, had been expected to push the Jamaicans all the way but they were always trailing the slick Britons.
The brilliantly executed race by Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake gave Britain gold in 37.47 seconds, breaking an 18-year-old national record, and the world title for the first time.
NO PUEDE SER!! @usainbolt se lesiona en plena final del 4×100… #London2017pic.twitter.com/gSucD1QkIQ
? Eurosport.es (@Eurosport_ES) 12 de agosto de 2017
“I wasn’t sure if I had won or not, I gave it my all but I could see Christian Coleman out of the corner of my eye,” said Mitchell-Blake.
“The feeling of euphoria was from infinity. I can’t register it. We smashed the British record to pieces.”
Britain’s only other men’s global sprint relay golds came in the 1912 and 2004 Olympics.
The 60,000 in the stadium who had come to mark the farewell of the sport’s greatest showman had only a split second to absorb what was happening as up ahead a new chapter was being written.
It took Bolt fully two minutes to get to his feet before receiving the adulation of a crowd for one last time, rising as one to acknowledge the Jamaican.