Usain Bolt has called a premature end to his injury-troubled season and will instead begin preparing early for next year’s International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Beijing.
The day after running 9.98sec for the 100 metres in Warsaw, the double world and Olympic champion has announced his withdrawal from Thursday’s (August 28) International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League meeting in Zurich, whose organisers have said he will not be racing again this season.
The 28-year-old Jamaican has been troubled by a foot injury this year and has made only three appearances on the track, anchoring his country to Commonwealth Games 4x100m gold in Glasgow on August 2, winning an exhibition 100m on Brazil’s Copacabana Beach last weekend in 10.06 and then breaking 10sec in Poland
Organisers for the meeting in Zurich, where Bolt made a guest appearance last week during the European Athletics Championships, said today that Bolt had withdrawn from the 100m in the Letzigrund Stadium, which would have been his first Diamond League race of the season, and would not compete again this season.
The statement said Bolt’s coach Glen Mills “feels it is now time to shut it down while he is healthy and injury free with a view on his preparations for the 2015 season”.
Bolt will now take a period of rest, take part in some sponsor activities, and resume training in October.
Patrick Magyar, director of the Weltklasse Zurich meeting, said he regretted but understood Bolt’s decision, adding: “Usain’s body has delivered tremendous performances over the last years but it is a body and not a machine.
“If an athlete of that level and his coach feel more rest is needed, we are certainly not going to question this and fully support the decision.”
Bolt won in Brazil by 0.37sec and almost had as much time to spare in the Polish capital as his nearest rival was his fellow Jamaican Sheldon Mitchell, second in 10.33.
“The competition in the stadium was an interesting experience; because of the closed roof there were different acoustics, the cheers of the supporters echoed around,” reflected Bolt.
“This was a fun event and I’m pleased to go below ten seconds but this is a transitional season for me.
“Next year, I will be in better shape for the World Championships.”
Bolt’s opposition would have been more formidable in Zurich given the presence of three other sub-10 men on the start line, as well as Great Britain’s recently-crowned European 200m champion Adam Gemili.
This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.