Usain Bolt ended his stellar career in excruciating pain.
The Jamaican great crumpled to the track with a left-leg injury as he was chasing a final gold medal for the Jamaican 4x100m relay team on Saturday at the world championships.
Having to make up lots of ground on the anchor leg, Bolt suddenly screamed and stumbled as he came down with his golden farewell shattered by the first injury he has experienced at a major competition.
“Not the way that I wanted to end my championship,” Bolt said on Snapchat while getting treatment, lying chest down on a table. “I left everything out there on the track. I gave it my all, as always.
“Sorry I didn’t get to say bye or anything, but I will be at the stadium tomorrow. I will come say goodbye.”
That wasn’t the only surprise. Britain went on to beat the United States in a tight finish.
The 60,000-capacity stadium was primed for one last Bolt show, one last “To the World” pose after a victory, but the injury made it blatantly clear why Bolt is ready to retire. His body can no longer hold up.
“He is still the best in the world,” said Justin Gatlin, Bolt’s American rival who ended up with 100m gold and relay silver.
Bolt’s teammates on the once-fabled Jamaican sprint squad were far from unmatchable, too. Bolt just had too much to make up in the final 100 meters as both Britain and the United States were ahead and even Japan was even.
As Bolt fell to the ground, the leg with the golden shoe giving way, the crowd still went wild because the home team went on to win gold in 37.47 seconds, .05 seconds ahead of the United States.
“It’s a cramp in his left hamstring, but a lot of the pain is from disappointment from losing the race,” Jamaican team doctor Kevin Jones said. “The last three weeks have been hard for him, you know. We hope for the best for him.”
The race will certainly be remembered for the gut-wrenching way in which the sport’s greatest athlete was forced to end his…