Usain Bolt is feeling no pressure in retirement, confident his best times can remain world records for decades.
The only sprinter to capture the 100- and 200-meter track titles at three consecutive Olympics, Bolt retired last month after the world championships in London. He holds the world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 and 19.19 in the 200 — both set in Berlin in 2009.
“I think (they’re) going to last a while,” Bolt said during a promotional event in Japan on Tuesday. “I think our era with Yohan Blake, Justin Gatlin and Asafa Powell and all these guys was the best era of athletes. If it was going to be broken, it would have been broken in this era, so I think I have at least 15 to 20 more years.”
Bolt’s farewell major meet didn’t go to plan in London. After a surprising third-place finish in the 100 behind Americans Gatlin and Christian Coleman, Bolt’s last race ended in the anguish of an injured hamstring while anchoring Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay team.
Gatlin, often cast as the villain during Bolt’s long dominance, said he thinks his rival will be back. But Bolt brushed off that notion.
“I have nothing to prove, that’s the main reason I left track and field. After you do everything you want there is no reason to stick around,” Bolt said.
Bolt was the life of the party every time he competed, captivating fans with his charisma and smile.
As for the next biggest star in track, Bolt said he doesn’t see anyone at the moment who he expects will follow in his footsteps.
Jamaica won only one gold medal at this year’s worlds, a disappointing haul given its success in the last decade. Bolt said his country’s young athletes will have to step up now that he’s gone.
Of course, wanting to be great and doing what it takes to make it happen are two different things, too.
The 31-year-old Bolt said he had good people around him from his earliest successes who were also there at the end, helping him make the most of his talent.
As for the future, Bolt says he is interested in playing soccer and possibly settling down and getting married. (AP)