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Bolt: A once in a lifetime athlete

LONDON-BOUND: Usain Bolt draped in the Jamaican flag

FOR MANY, Usain Bolt’s mesmeric victory at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 was the most standout moment from the Jamaican athlete’s career as it represented the start of a period of greatness that few believe will ever be seen again.

For Colin Jackson however, it was his victory at the 2015 World Championships in the same venue that defined best Bolt’s period of dominance.

Jackson, 50, a former elite athlete who understands better than most what it takes to be a winner and more importantly what it takes to stay on top, told The Voice that Bolt’s win two years ago proved that as well as being talented, the Trelawny-born sprinter demonstrated that he had heart and a tremendous will to succeed.

“For me it was Beijing, the second time, where he was really up against it,” Jackson enthused when describing his best Bolt moment.

OUTSTANDING

He added:

“We all know the great form that Justin Gatlin was showing and in complete contrast Usain Bolt was experiencing the opposite. He was struggling with his weight and getting himself prepared for a good World Championships. He knew his favourite event, the 200m; he could nail that performance because it’s his.


RESPECT: From left, Colin Jackson and Usain Bolt

“The 100m where everyone was looking however, for him to win that was an outstanding performance, I mean truly an outstanding performance. I don’t think we can ever contemplate what was going on in his mind because it was a tough one.”

Jackson says he singles out that performance as it would have been easier for Bolt to get up for his previous achievements in Beijing 2008 and again at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009 where he set the present 100m and 200m records because he was fit and already the fastest man on the planet. Approaching Beijing 2015 however, things were far from straight forward.

“When you’re an athlete of Bolt’s calibrethe challenge is what can you do when the odds are against up you, when you’re not flying? I’ve been there, I know it.” Jackson said.

The Voice newspaper will host a special Jamaica National-sponsored charity event in central London for the Racers Track Club next month and hailing the importance of the athletics club where Bolt honed his talent. Jackson, who will compere the evening, said it was important to recognise the
contribution the establishment has made to the sport. He said:

“One of the most important thing is the legacy that Racers are providing right now. They are ambassadors for not just the world of sport but the island of Jamaica itself and for the whole Caribbean.

BLESSED

“So, it’s just a real testament for what can be achieved when you have talented athletes and the consistency of formalities put in place.

“This is what the island can produce, this is what the Caribbean can produce and it has an effect across the globe. They are global stars and that’s what Racers has achieved.”

Will there ever be another Bolt in track and field, was he a one-off?

“You can’t replace Usain Bolt, its impossible to do that,” Jackson said.

“There were so many great performances that we witnessed and Usain as a personality overshadows them all, he’s the complete package. People love him and he can transcend the sport, he’s an entertainer and he’s comfortable with other sports men and women of the same level.

“When you think of the full package he is irreplaceable. Our sport was blessed to have him for as long as we had him.”

To attend the Racers Track Club charitydinner and auction on July 16, email: corporateaffairs@thevoicemediagroup.co.uk

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