Although Usain Bolt’s final outing on track wasn’t quite the fairytale ending he or any of his millions of admirers had hoped for, the world’s fastest man was given a hero’s farewell at the London Stadium as he took his lap of honour to bring to an end the Athletics World Championships.
Indeed, Bolt, who said he would never return to sprinting, wouldn’t have imagined that his career would end so unspectacularly, but the man who has dominated the sport for close to a decade was gracious, if emotional, as he said his goodbyes to the fans who have wondered at his speed since he set his first world record in 2008.
When it finally sink in.
Thanks for the memories usainbolt ⚡❤️ pic.twitter.com/7H89pZ1f6E— Kadeen (kadsbrezi) August 13, 2017
An honour for our city to bid farewell to the one & only UsainBolt. He takes a piece of London with him. #London2017 pic.twitter.com/YwoeMxd7Fo— Sadiq Khan (SadiqKhan) August 13, 2017
Although the Jamaican’s final outing was not as glorious as he has become accustomed to, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim’s dreams were realised in the high jump as he strolled to an emphatic victory with a faultless series, culminating in a winning leap of 2.35 metres.
Mutaz Essa Barshim is now World Champion in High Jump pic.twitter.com/18rqroTgYj— Rahul PAWAR (@rahuldpawar) August 13, 2017
Meanwhile in the 4×400m relay, Trinidad and Tobego pipped the United States at the post, as Lalonde Gordon overtook Fred Kerley on the final straight to deny the title holders a seventh successive world championship gold, despite the US leading for most of the race.
Trinidad & Tobago’s national anthem being played during the medal ceremony for the Men’s 4×400m relay at the World Championships in London. pic.twitter.com/p01TxmGgSv— Clydeen McDonald (@ClydeenMcDonald) August 13, 2017
It wasn’t all doom and gloom in the American camp however, as the women’s 4×400m relay team managed to add to their Gold at last year’s Olympic games.
Jamaica suffered yet more injury heartbreak in the event less than 24 hours after Bolt had to pull up short in the men’s 4×100m relay.
Anneisha McLaughlin-Whilby picked up an injury just a few strides into her lap, ending Jamaica’s reign as world champions.
USA Quanera Hayes, Allyson Felix, Shakima Wimbley & Phyllis Francis win Gold in Women 4×400m Relay pic.twitter.com/r0E3OlqTsP— CAA (@WeWearCrowns) August 13, 2017
South Africa’s Caster Semenya claimed yet another track title, adding a gold in the 800 metres to her trophy cabinet.
The runner, who is now eyeing a world record in the event, put the controversy surrounding her testosterone levels aside to post a time of 55.16 seconds.
“They want you to lose, SO WIN”
AND WIN SHE DID!
RISING ABOVE IT ALL
Our very own CASTER SEMENYA. A GEM! AN INSPIRATION pic.twitter.com/oW1onr5AtQ— Zamore (@JustZamore) August 13, 2017
The final medal tally saw the US top the table, with Kenya second and South Africa third.