Usain Bolt compares himself to Muhammad Ali as he insists disappointing London 2017 World Athletics Championships won't dent his legendary status

Frank Dalleres
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16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 - Day Ten
Bolt waved goodbye to the track in London (Source: Getty)

Emotional Usain Bolt insists failing to secure a fairytale ending to his glittering track career at the World Championships in London will not diminish his status as one of athletics' all-time greats.

Bolt, who managed just bronze in the 100m and pulled up injured in the 4x100m relay on Saturday, bid farewell to the track in a ceremonial lap of honour at the end of the final session of the competition last night.

"I don't think one championship is going to change what I've done, really," said the eight-time Olympic champion.

"I remember after losing the 100m someone said to me: 'Usain don't worry, Muhammad Ali lost his last fight also so don't be stressed about that'. I proved myself year in year out. I don't think the fact that I didn't win my last race is going to change what I've done in the sport."

The world's fastest man, 30, said he did not regret racing for one last season, having initially planned to to quit after last year's Olympics.

"No, I'm fine," the Jamaican added. "My fans asked to see me one more year. I did this for my fans. Without them none of what I've accomplished through the years would have been possible.

"They kept me going, they helped to push me to be the best I can be. So if I could come out here and give my final show, no matter how it ended, I'm happy that I came and gave them something that they wanted. So I'm fine."

Bolt also categorically ruled out making a comeback at any stage. He said: "No. I think I've seen too many people retire and come back into the sport to make it worse or shame themselves so I personally don't think I'll be one of those persons to come back."

The 11-time world champion said his first priority post-retirement would be to relax. "The first thing is to go out and have some fun. I need a drink I've had a stressful championship," he said. "And then tomorrow I want to see my family, chill out."

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