Never stop trying, Usain Bolt tells younger generation

Updated 2017-08-14 09:30:37 Xinhua

Iconic Usain Bolt hopes the younger generation can receive a message from his legendary experience -- anything is possible if one works hard.

Retiring Jamaican "lightning" Bolt put on one last appearance on Sunday, the final day of the London World Championships as the 100m and 200m world record holder went on a lap of honor in a specially arranged farewell ceremony in front of the sell-out spectators.

The 11-time world champion and 8-time Olympic gold medalist made a final signature arrow-shooting stance and then left the track for good.

"I've proven that by working hard, anything is possible. For me, I was sitting down today and doing an interview. My motto is anything is possible," said the 30-year-old.

"It shows that everyone should continue trying. I personally feel this is a good message to send to youngsters to push on. If I can leave that to the younger generation, then that's a good legacy to leave," Bolt told a packed news conference.

The end of Bolt's career was far from perfect, a bronze in the 100m and he didn't make the finish line of his last race, the 4x100m relay as he had to limp off the track with injury.

"One championship doesn't change what I've done. After losing the 100m someone said to me, 'Muhamnmed Ali lost his last fight so don't be too stressed.' I have shown my credentials throughout my career so losing my last race isn't going to change what I've done in my sport," said Bolt.

Bolt said right now he had no plan for the future and just wanted to do things he was previously couldn't as an athlete, such as "have a party and have a drink".

But no matter what he will do in the future, Bolt said he would not return to run again.

"I have seen too many people retire and come back and just make it worse, shame themselves. So I personally won't. I won't be those stars to come back," he said.

After the lap of honor, Bolt received a framed part of the London track from London mayor Sadiq Khan and Sebastian Coe, head of the ruling body IAAF, who often speaks highly of the legendary runner.

"As I said earlier, what we are going to miss Usain Bolt isn't just the three Olympic Games, the clutch of world records or medals. He is an athlete with an opinion and view. He fills the room and interests you guys," said Coe before the final session on Sunday. "We need more athletes with accessibility instead of looking nervously at agents and handlers."

Bolt's fellow athletes also paid tribute to him.

"He has created so many legends on the track and stays a legend in my heart. I don't believe anyone can surpass him," said Chinese ace sprinter Su Bingtian who was the first Asian man to qualify for the 100m world championships final in 2015.

"Usain Bolt's name will always live on," said Bolt's relay team-member Omar McLeod.

Long-time rival Justin Gatlin, who grabbed the 100m gold medal from Bolt in London, was convinced he would return.

"You can't let this championships define what he's done in the past. He has done amazing things. He's still the man," the 35-year-old said.

"I'm going to win my million dollars. He is coming back in a couple of years. He'll be ready; he has a passion for the sport. He loves the fans and they love him. He loves the sport too much to walk away. He's a showman."

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