Usain Bolt has warned that people write him off at their peril after the imperious Jamaican sealed another world treble gold despite an injury-hit season.
Bolt anchored Jamaica to victory in the 4x100m relay to add to his wins in both the 100m and 200m, trumping his much-touted and controversial American rival Justin Gatlin.
It was Bolt’s fifth treble gold showing in major championships, having performed the same feat at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in Beijing and London, and world championships in 2009 and 2013 in Berlin and Moscow. His sole hiccup came in the 2011 worlds in Daegu when a false start in the 100m saw him return home with “only” the 200m title and a relay gold.
“This is even better, just to prove everyone wrong,” Bolt said of his treble in Beijing, where his dominance of world sprinting started when he came to prominence in the 2008 Olympics.
The towering 29-year-old has sat out six weeks of competitive action this season with pelvic joint pain, but he roared back despite a lack of outings on the circuit in the most impressive way.
“This season has been rough,” he admitted. “I’m just hoping that next season won’t be like this.
“I’m going to try my utmost best to really get on the right track early in the season and just hopefully can go on to Rio fully ready to run my best.
“I was here to do a job and was much more focused than I normally am because normally I’m in great shape with more races under my belt.”
After taking the baton from Nickel Ashmeade, Bolt had it all to do. But a blunder between Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers saw the US quartet fall behind and later disqualified, leaving the way open for Bolt’s 11th world gold.
– ‘Never any pressure’ –
“It’s always a good way to end a championships like that,” he said.
“It’s pretty much one of my best (results) because of what I’ve been through this season, the doubts that people have had, just everything.
“I came here and executed to the best of my ability and got three gold medals so I’m happy about that.”
Bolt added, however, that there “was never any pressure”.
“You can’t have doubts. The moment you have doubts creeping in you shouldn’t run.
“I know what I want coming here. My coach (Glen Mills) is always confident in me and I’m confident in him so as long as we work as a team, I have no worry I’ll ever be defeated,” he said.
“I came out here and proved everybody that you can never call Usain Bolt out.
“I’m a champion and I show up when it matters.”
Bolt insisted, however, that he would wait until after next year’s Rio Olympics before allowing himself the right to be called a legend of the sporting world.
“I think I’m getting there!” he said with some understatement.
“I won’t say that completely out of my mouth until after Rio. After Rio, then I’ll see (if I’m) comfortable enough to say I’m one of them. So we’ll see how Rio goes.
“Ending the season on a good note and no injury is brilliant. It helps going into the season on a positive note so (the road to Rio) should be good.” – Agence France-Presse