Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Not so fast, Usain! - Boldon: Bolt's records will last for more than 15-20 years

Published:Wednesday | September 6, 2017 | 9:00 AMDania Bogle
Usain Bolt gestures with a maiko, or an apprentice geisha, and children during a promotional event in Kyoto, western Japan yesterday.
Ato Boldon
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Double world record holder Usain Bolt has said that he doesn't think his world 100 and 200 metres records will be broken for another 15 or 20 years, but former 200m World Champion, Trinidadian Ato Boldon, said it may be much longer than that.

Bolt, who has world records of 9.58 seconds over 100m and 19.19 seconds for 200m, told reporters in Japan yesterday that he believes his records might last a long time, while expressing concern about the state of Jamaican sprinting.

"I think our era with Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin and Asafa Powell and all these guys was the best era of athletes. If it was going to be broken, it would have been broken in this era, so I think I have at least 15 to 20 more years," Bolt said.

However, Boldon said Bolt's estimate may be short.

"I think it may be longer. I think he (Bolt) has a unique set of skills. He is a prodigy. There's nobody even close. It has to be somebody who hasn't been born or just been born. Those records are very, very, serious," Boldon told The Gleaner.

Bolt retired from professional track and field after last month's International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in London, England.

 

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The athlete, who broke the world records at the 2009 world Championships in Berlin, finished third in the men's 100m in London.

"The biggest thing with Jamaica now is if the youngsters want it. Over the years, one thing I've learnt is you have to want to be great. If you don't want to be great, it won't happen," said Bolt.

Boldon said it is clear that Bolt is worried about what Jamaican sprinting has to offer in the coming years.

"I think Bolt is worried about the state he is leaving Jamaican track and field in. With the exception of Omar McLeod and Elaine (Thompson), I don't think he sees the dominance continuing," Boldon said.

McLeod won a gold medal in the men's 110m hurdles in London. He also won gold at last year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and at the World Indoors in Portland, Oregon earlier that year.

Led by Bolt, who came to prominence at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Jamaica has dominated world sprinting for nine years, winning as many as 13 medals at the 2009 World Championships.

Bolt also expressed concerns about the new generation of Jamaican athletes.

"I've noticed a lot of the young athletes, as soon as they get their first contract and start making money, they really just don't care as much anymore," Bolt said. "A lot of them are satisfied with getting their first contract, going out and making their first team. If they are satisfied with that, then we're in trouble."