Athletics: Gatlin-Bolt rivalry on hold as Jamaican takes a break

Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line of the 4x100m relay at the Beijing World Championships last month to complete his golden treble at the meet. He announced on Monday that he will not race again this year.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line of the 4x100m relay at the Beijing World Championships last month to complete his golden treble at the meet. He announced on Monday that he will not race again this year.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS • Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt will not race again this year after storming to a golden treble at the world championships in Beijing last month.

"After the excitement of the past few weeks at the World T&F (track and field) Championships in Beijing, I have decided not to race again in 2015," he wrote in a post on his Facebook account.

"I am already thinking about next year and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio where I will attempt to defend my titles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m.

"I will enjoy a short break from training now to recharge before resuming background training next month."

Bolt had been due to compete in the season-ending Diamond League meet in Brussels on Friday.

He w as scheduled to compete in the 200m, but fans will now be denied another Bolt-Justin Gatlin showdown.

Bolt anchored Jamaica to victory in Beijing in the 4x100m relay to add to his wins in both the 100m and 200m. Rival Gatlin claimed two silvers in the individual events.

"Unfortunately Usain Bolt feels too tired and has decided to end his season and go back home," organisers tweeted.

After the Jamaican's withdrawal, Gatlin received a tweet from organisers, who are now hoping that the American can repeat his double-winning feat from last year's meet. "@justingatlin looking for victory in both 100m and 200m this Friday!" they said.

Bolt battled through an injury-hit season for glory in Beijing, pelvic joint pain meaning he sat out six weeks of competitive action in the run-up to the worlds.

The towering 29-year-old explained he was content to call it a day for this year, despite no recurrence of that injury, which saw him seek treatment in Munich from renowned doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt.

"I have competed in Brussels many times over the years and it is always one of the best meets on the circuit," said the six-time Olympic champion.

"The track is fast and they always have a full house. I was looking forward to running there this year but I'm happy to end the season without any injuries and ready to go for 2016."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Gatlin-Bolt rivalry on hold as Jamaican takes a break'. Print Edition | Subscribe