Coe: ‘Bolt will be replaced’
KINGSTON – International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) president Sebastian Coe, though believing that Usain Bolt’s retirement will hurt the sport, has stressed there will be a replacement.
According to Coe, the impact of Bolt’s leaving could be similar to Mohammad Ali ending his career.
“To us, Usain Bolt is as big as Muhammad Ali was to boxing. There were plenty of very, very good world-class fighters at the same time Muhammed Ali was boxing, but the focus inevitably tended to be on him.
“But people also said, what is going to happen after Muhammed Ali retired? Well, Floyd Mayweather happened, Manny Pacquiao happened, Sugar Ray Leonard happened, Marvin Hagler happened, Felix Trinidad happened, so great fighters came on the scene,” Coe said.
Coe believes the next Usain Bolt is a function of marketing for the most part, because he has seen enough talent to ensure the bright future of track and field.
In Jamaica, Coe pointed out, Usain Bolt’s records at high school were almost all broken.
That, Coe said, pointed to the immense talent still left to be unearthed.
Bolt, the double world record holder in the 100 and 200-metres, has said repeatedly that the Olympic Games in Rio will be his last on that stage and that he is unlikely to run after the 2017 World Championships.