Wayde van Niekerk hopes to steal Usain Bolt's limelight in London

04 August, 2017, 00:18 | Author: Ora Austin
  • 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017- Previews

For a man who has lived the Olympic ideal of faster, higher, stronger, they are unusual words to attach to Usain Bolt.

Juliet Freud, head of event planning at The Brewery commented, "Such a prestigious occasion demanded a space to match, and The Porter Tun room provided exactly that".

These events have become part and parcel of every global championship and though Tuesday's version in east London lacked the dancing girl razzmatazz of his Rio welcome a year ago, it scored heavily on nostalgia as every aspect of his stellar career was raked over anew.

Andre De Grasse is trying to put on a fearless face about withdrawing from the world athletics championships because of an injury, but his coach says the 22-year old will be haunted by the lost opportunity to beat Usain Bolt in his final 100-metre race.

But for all the drama and accolades surrounding Bolt's 100-meter farewell on Saturday evening, there will be seven other sprinters who are fully confident that they can gate-crash the party.

They are comparisons she welcomes, per Ian Gordon of the Daily Express: "To be linked with just one of them, let alone two, is very humbling for me".

The Jamaican is comfortably regarded as one of the greatest sprinters to ever grace the Earth after he won the gold medal in the 100m and 200m at three consecutive Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Brazil 2016).

"It's one thing someone saying I can be the next big thing", the 25-year-old said on Wednesday.

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De Grasse was a leading contender in the 100 and 200 events at the worlds, which start today in London.

"I've not got to think about the atmosphere and go and compete".

He has broken countless records throughout his career and still holds the title of "fastest man on earth" - a record he set after running 100m in 9.58 seconds in 2009.

Bolt's old sparring partner Justin Gatlin was the man who beat Coleman.

"Personally I think it was there [rock bottom]".

"I know from watching previous championships what the atmosphere is going to be like, from the fans to the Usain Bolt show, so to just be a part of history is a great feeling".

He will also race in the 4x100m relay next week before bringing the curtain down on his decorated and stunning career.

Yet his absence now smooths the path for world 400m record holder Van Niekerk, who is seeking the same 200m/400m double that Michael Johnson last achieved at the 1995 Gothenburg World Championships. "But if my son says that, I'm trying to move mountains".



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