The greatest career in track and field history ended Saturday with a monumental thud.
Running the final leg of the 4 x 100 meter relay at the IAAF World Championship, Usain Bolt pulled up with an injury and failed to finish, costing Jamaica a medal. Bolt has long maintained that he would retire from running after Worlds ended, and this was his final scheduled race.
— Romelu Lukaku (@BigRedRomelu9) August 12, 2017
Bolt’s injury comes days after he finished third in the 100 meters, his last solo race, in a shocking upset.
Bolt was clearly emotional after Saturday’s race, lying with his face down on the track as other runners crossed the finish line.
Usain Bolt pulled up in the last race of his career and was unable to finish the 4×100 relay final. [Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images] pic.twitter.com/cNja44whUF
— ESPN (@espn) August 12, 2017
Eventually, Bolt got up and crossed the finish line alongside his relay teammates, as the crowd in London cheered for him.
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) August 12, 2017
As we wrote last week, nothing that happened at this year’s World Championships was ever going to diminish Bolt’s legacy as the greatest sprinter of all-time. A third-place finish and a torn hamstring are nothing next to eight Olympic golds, 14 medals at Worlds and a world record in his sport’s most iconic event. So although it’s a bummer that Bolt’s career ended this way, it doesn’t change much in terms of how we’ll remember him.
For the last 10 years, Usain Bolt has been one of the most compelling figures in sports: an incredible runner and showman with talent, flare and charisma. Track fans, and sports fans in general, will deeply miss him.