Only one Usain Bolt
Long-serving track and field administrator Michael Fennell believes that sprint legend Usain Bolt will go down in history as the greatest sprinter, declaring "there will be only one Usain Bolt", ahead of the sprint megastar's imminent departure from the sport.
Thirty-year-old Bolt became the first athlete to win triple gold at three consecutive Olympic Games, capping off his Olympics career unbeaten in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, recently.
Fennell, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president, is encouraging current and upcoming Jamaican athletes to also "focus on doing their thing, and making their mark", in the sport.
When pressed on whether Jamaica would ever be able to replace an athlete of Bolt's global stature, Fennell said no.
"It's going to be difficult. There can only be one Usain Bolt. I don't think we should talk about replacing him. I think we should talk about another individual who can do his own thing and have his own mark. There will only be one Usain Bolt," Fennell told The Gleaner. He was speaking upon arrival from the Rio de Janeiro Games at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Wednesday.
GLOBAL MARK MADE
Meanwhile, Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) boss Dr Warren Blake said Bolt, who has signalled that he is going to retire soon, has left a big mark on the sport globally.
"True it's going to be very hard to replace a Usain Bolt because Usain brings more to track and field than just his speed. He brings his personality and the way he can whip the crowd into a frenzy, and everybody really comes out to see a Usain run," outlined Blake.
The JAAA president believes Bolt has proven to be more popular than other sporting greats before him like PelÈ.
"What was really very noticeable in Rio was that on the days that Bolt was competing, the stadium was packed to capacity, and in some instances where he competed before the final event, as soon as he finished competing, a significant number of Brazilians got up and left because they just came out to see Usain," Blake said.