By Charlie Bristow

Usain Bolt needs a drink. And quite frankly who can blame him.

The Jamaican sprinter is hanging up his spikes after 169 races in the past decade, of which he has won 156.

He's tallied up eight Olympic gold medals, 11 World know the record.


What has Bolt reaching for his glass faster than he reaches finish lines, is the fact things didn't go to script at the 2017 World Championships.

He was first humbled by rival Justin Gatlin in the men's 100 metres final, unable to roar home in the last 50 metres like he so often has after a slow start.

He then pulled up with a hamstring injury as he anchored Jamaica in the 4x100 metre relay final.

The big screen flashed "DNF" next to Jamaica's flag and Bolt's chance to leave the track as a winner was spiked.

In his final press conference of his athletics career, Bolt was frank when assessing the latest event in London.

"I think this [world] championships is bad luck."

"It's one of the most surprising championships, a lot of surprises happened here. I came out here and did my best, I'm always going to leave everything on the track it's just one of those things that it didn't play out like in a book. I don't know why this happened, but I believe that everything happens for a reason".

The man with the fastest time over 100m in history (9.58 seconds) has no regrets about the way he bowed out.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt is presented with a piece of the track by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Photo / AP
Jamaica's Usain Bolt is presented with a piece of the track by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Photo / AP

He's been reminded a number of times that the Rio Olympics was the perfect stage. He won the 100, 200 and 4x100m relay races, an unprecedented achievement.

But Bolt said this event was for the fans and seeing them happy, how could he feel sad?

"I remember after losing the 100 metre final here, someone said to me not to worry cause Muhammad Ali lost his last fight also, so don't be stressed about anything."

"For me I've proven myself year in year out throughout my whole career and I don't think that one championship or one race will not change what I've done in this sport."

There's a million ways the life of one of the most famous people in the world could go, there's coaching and media, and much more.

"My agent is talking to Seb Coe [President of the IAAF] to figure out in what way I can help the sport. I'm excited to be a part of this because I love track and field it gave me everything. My coach also wants me to coach with him so we'll see how that goes."

Painted as the hero of athletics for many years, Bolt has also had to play saviour in recent times, as the prevalence of doping has become more apparent.

The Jamaican strayed from his effervescent attitude to address the issue, for the final time as an athlete.

"For me I've always been strong on doping. I feel personally that athletes should get a life ban. If you go out of your way to cheat, to be a better athlete I believe you should have a life ban.

"The sport has gone through a lot, I think we hit rock bottom last year, and now we're on the way back up. We need to be really strict on this to help the sport stay in a good light when it's all about competitions."

"I've proven to the world that you can be the greatest without doping... I think getting to the kids at a young age really helps to mould them into the right person and helps them to know what it takes to be great."

Coe has urged those hoping to take over Bolt's position as the star of track and field to show as much personality as the Jamaican.

Usain Bolt applauds the spectators during his lap of honour. Photo / AP
Usain Bolt applauds the spectators during his lap of honour. Photo / AP

In what has been an unpredictable but always enthralling World Championships, Bolt took a short moment to reflect as he took a lap of honour around London's Olympic Stadium, the sold out 60,000 crowd giving their hero a standing ovation as they waved Jamaican flags and snapped photos of one of the most incredible athletes of our time.

He stopped at the 100 and 200 metre marks and said goodbye.

"I was saying goodbye to the fans and to my events also. These are the two that I've dominated for years, so it was a case of saying goodbye to everything. I think I almost cried, was close, but it didn't come."