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Bolt ends career with injury; Farah loses, too
Usain Bolt ended his stellar career in excruciating pain.
The Jamaican great crumpled to the track with a left-leg injury as he was chasing a final gold medal for the Jamaican 4x100-meter relay team yesterday at the world championships.
Having to make up lots of ground on the anchor leg, Bolt suddenly screamed and stumbled as he came down with his golden farewell shattered by the first injury he has experienced at a major competition.
That wasn’t the only surprise. Britain went on to beat the United States in a tight finish.
The 60,000-capacity stadium was primed for one last Bolt show, one last “To the World” pose after a victory, but the injury made it blatantly clear why Bolt is ready to retire. His body can no longer hold up. As Bolt fell to the ground, the leg with the golden shoe giving way, the crowd still went wild because the home team went on to win gold in 37.47 seconds, .05 seconds ahead of the United States.
Before Bolt came onto the track, he was consoling Mo Farah, his long-distance equivalent who had just lost his first major race since 2011 when he failed to get gold in the 5,000 meters. Farah also was bidding farewell to the track, coming up short of his fifth straight 5,000-10,000 double at major championships in a sprint against Muktar Edris Ethiopia.
“I gave it all,” Farah said. “I didn’t have a single bit left at the end.”
Instead, Tori Bowie was the unlikely first double gold medallist at the championships, anchoring the US team to the 4x100-meter relay title ahead of Britain and Jamaica. At the same time, Allyson Felix, running the second leg on the winning team, earned a record 15th medal at the world championships in a career going back to 2005.
Bowie, who won the 100 meters this week, ran a strong anchor leg, leaving behind the opposition to finish in 41.82 seconds.
If Bolt and Farah were about farewells, the decathlon was about renewal in the wake of the retirement of two-time Olympic and world champion Ashton Eaton. And Kevin Mayer is the new “world’s greatest athlete.”
The Frenchman produced a dominant performance over two days and ten events, ending with a celebratory 1,500 meters.
Mayer won with 8,768 points. Rico Freimuth took silver with 8,564 points, while German teammate Kai Kazmirek was third with 8,488. Mayer is the first Frenchman to win the title.