Athletics officials will be dreading the day when Usain Bolt decides to hang up his golden spikes.
But the Jamaican sprint king today suggested that his retirement could come as soon as next year, after he attempts to defend his three Olympic titles at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bolt added at a Thursday press conference: “I have two more goals that I want to accomplish before I retire, and that is defending my Olympic title three times and I would love to run sub-19 [seconds in 200m]. So those are the two big goals that keeps driving me on, that I really want to do next season.”
Losing Bolt – probably the biggest attraction in the sport’s history – would be a major blow for athletics as it aims to restore its reputation in the aftermath of countless drugs scandals, as BBC Sport reports.
The 29-year-old recently retained his 100m and 200m world titles, distances over which he is the world record holder, against convicted drug cheat Justin Gatlin of America in Beijing.
Bolt has won a total of 11 world championships and two silver medals across those two events and the 4×100 relay. He is also a six-time Olympic gold medallist and a Commonwealth champion.
Away from the track, the Kingston-born speedster is a Manchester United “fanatic”, but was wearing Arsenal red in a picture posted on his official Instagram account on Thursday afternoon.
According to Sky Sports, Bolt had to swallow his pride after losing a bet with Mexican TV presenter and Gunners fan Patty Lopez de la Cerda over the result of Sunday’s match between the old rivals.
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