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Who'll fill Bolt's big boots?

Published:Thursday | August 31, 2017 | 12:00 AM


For some, the World Championships represents the swansong of a very illustrious and rewarding career. Most notable are Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.

These two persons have helped to ignite the passion and appeal of athletics globally, and their impact has been gigantic, far-reaching and indelible.

Bolt, in particular, has been the poster boy of athletics ever since his glorious performance at Beijing in 2008.

His amazing feat of completing three races in world-record time has helped to bring back lustre and credibility to a sport that was deeply mired by performance-enhancing drugs.

Bolt's charismatic personality and showmanship on the track have also endeared the world to him and have catapulted him into the pantheon of sporting greats, such as Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, and Pele. His memories will leave an enduring legacy in the annals of sporting history.

Other athletes who have made sterling contributions to this noble sport may follow suit soon as persons such as Veronica Campbell-Brown, Allyson Felix, Asafa Powell and Justin Gatlin are approaching the twilight of their careers.

With athletics still haunted by its unsavoury past and its tremendous challenge to keep pace with more cash-rich and media-frenzy sporting events, losing icons such as Bolt and Mo Farah simultaneously will definitely affect its fledgling appeal. The million-dollar question is, 'who will emerge to claim the crown of global athletics ambassador?'