IAAF World Championships: Usain Bolt, Mo Farah's perfect swansongs end in dismay
The Jamaican sprinter limped out with a cram on his left hamstring as the team failed to finish the 4X100 metre relay.
New Delhi: It was an end of an era. And an end it did see. But in such a way, probably none had expected. Two legends, two race...two heartbreaks! Two greatest sprinters of the generation, Usain Bolt and Mo Farah were denied a perfect swansong with both ending in dismay. But the one that Bolt faced, was beyond the wildest dreams of any athletics or even a sports lover. The Jamaican sprinter limped out with a cram on his left hamstring as the team failed to finish the 4X100 metre relay.
It was 8:20 into the night. The London crowd at the Olympics stadium waited in anticipation for their hero. Mo Farah was all geared up for his final race of his career – 5000 metres race. Having previously won the 10,000 metres race in London, a few days earlier, Farah was definitely the favourite. Not because of the English crowd, well he had history to back himself up.
Six years of dominance in the long distance track with 10 global titles and four double golds (10,000 and the 5000 metres race). He had clinched the double in the 2012 London Olympics and successfully defended it in Rio 2016, becoming the second person to do so and had emulated the same in the World Championships too. Apart from that he also has an unbroken streak – 5000m in 2011, the 10,000m in 2017 and the double in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. The streak was yet to be broken and he was defending it yesterday in front of his nation, for one final time.
But 56,000 sports fans present at the Olympics Stadium stood in absolute astonishment as the 34-year-old dropped down in tears. He finished second. For the first time in six years. Mo Farah, who was aiming for a mythical ‘quintuple-double' at home was shocked by young Ethiopian Muktar Edris. While the former champion finished with 13:33.22 on the clock, Muktar timed 13:32.79.
"I had tears in my eyes,” he said after the race. “Never had that before.
“I felt, ‘Wow’. It’s been an amazing journey. To achieve what I have achieved through the years has been incredible.
“And to end it in London, what a way. This is where it all started and I got little emotional because I look at my family, I look at what I’ve done and it gets to you because, at the end of the day, I’m just a human.”
The London crowd had one last hope left in them. Another legend loosened himself up for his final, final race. They were once left traumatised when Bolt finished third in the 100 metres final, for the first time in his career at Worlds stage. But fans had ample hope and so did Usain Bolt that he would give his swansong a glittering goodbye.
Bang! Went the gun shot as the sprinters soared off their starting blocks. Great Britain took off with real pace, the Japanese followed behind. But the Jamaicans were slowly catching up. Yohan Blake blazed away to pass the baton to his final teammate, Bolt.
Great Britain was still leading then, followed by the Americans and the Jamaican team. Bolt clutched onto the baton and took off. Another sluggish start, but made an effort to tune up his speed. And just when it seemed he was catching up the hosts, he limped down the track as he had pulled a cramp on his left hamstring, sat down agonising in pain as Great Britain roared away with the gold. The team USA finished second, followed by Japan. Bolt sat there, tears rolled down his eyes as his teammates ran to console him.
Jamaica finished the night with DNF written beside their name. It was for the first time since their shot to dominance in 2008. Afterward, there were a lot of speculations made as to what lead to this heartbreaking moment and IAAF seemed to be at blame. The Sprinters complained that they were kept waiting for about 40 minutes from the time they stepped onto the track from the warm-up room.
"I think this is crazy," Blake said. "Forty minutes. Waiting. Warming up. Waiting. Warming up. It just should not happen. To have your champion go out like that, it's crazy."
The all these....they do remind people of some past events. Bradman walked out on zero in the final innings of his career, Zidane had received a red card in his final game for France, Pele failed to score in his last game donning the Brazil jersey and the 'Greatest' Muhammad Ali lost in his final bout of his career. And now its Bolt and Farah. Probably that's how legends part.