Usain Bolt falls with injury, loses final career race at worlds (video)

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Usain Bolt ended his stellar career in excruciating pain.

The Jamaican great crumpled to the track with a left-leg injury as he was chasing a final gold medal for the Jamaican 4x100m relay team on Saturday at the world championships.

Having to make up lots of ground on the anchor leg, Bolt suddenly screamed and stumbled as he came down with his golden farewell shattered by the first injury he has experienced at a major competition.

“Not the way that I wanted to end my championship,” Bolt said on Snapchat while getting treatment, lying chest down on a table. “I left everything out there on the track. I gave it my all, as always.

“Sorry I didn’t get to say bye or anything, but I will be at the stadium tomorrow. I will come say goodbye.”

That wasn’t the only surprise. Britain went on to beat the United States in a tight finish.

The 60,000-capacity stadium was primed for one last Bolt show, one last “To the World” pose after a victory, but the injury made it blatantly clear why Bolt is ready to retire. His body can no longer hold up.

“He is still the best in the world,” said Justin Gatlin, Bolt’s American rival who ended up with 100m gold and relay silver.

Bolt’s teammates on the once-fabled Jamaican sprint squad were far from unmatchable, too. Bolt just had too much to make up in the final 100 meters as both Britain and the United States were ahead and even Japan was even.

As Bolt fell to the ground, the leg with the golden shoe giving way, the crowd still went wild because the home team went on to win gold in 37.47 seconds, .05 seconds ahead of the United States.

“It’s a cramp in his left hamstring, but a lot of the pain is from disappointment from losing the race,” Jamaican team doctor Kevin Jones said. “The last three weeks have been hard for him, you know. We hope for the best for him.”

The race will certainly be remembered for the gut-wrenching way in which the sport’s greatest athlete was forced to end his career.

“It just happened,” Jamaican leadoff runner Omar McLeod said. “Usain Bolt’s name will always live on.”

The U.S. won the women’s relay, giving Allyson Felix her record-breaking 15th career world medal to pass Bolt.

In other events, Mo Farah, in the last championship track race of his career, lost a global final for the first time since 2011 with a silver in the 5000m. (VIDEO HERE)

Farah was overtaken by two Ethiopians with a lap to go and could not muster a strong enough kick to get back to the lead. His streak of Olympic and world titles ends at 10.

Farah came up the rail to finish second to Muktar Edris, .43 of a second behind the Ethiopian’s winning time of 13:32.79. American Paul Chelimo earned bronze after grabbing silver behind Farah in Rio.

A spent Farah lay on the track in tears. The 34-year-old is moving to road racing and marathons after this season.

“I gave it everything,” he told the crowd in a stadium interview before a montage played of his career highlights and fan messages, according to the IAAF.

Farah later said he “had nothing left” following last week’s 10,000m win.

Australian Sally Pearson upset world-record holder Kendra Harrison to win the 100m hurdles in 12.59 seconds.

Pearson, who captured the 2012 Olympic title on this track, capped a two-year comeback from a broken wrist and torn hamstring, which ultimately kept her out of Rio.

Dawn Harper-Nelson, silver medalist at the 2012 Olympics and gold medalist in 2008, took silver in 12.63 as the lone American medalist. Harper-Nelson failed to make the Rio Olympic team, getting eliminated in the Trials semifinals, and was fourth at the USATF Outdoor Championships in June, squeaking onto the world team.

Harrison took fourth in 12.74 seconds on the same track where set the world record of 12.20 last summer. She lost for the first time since shockingly failing to make the Rio team at last year’s Olympic Trials.

Vashti Cunningham, the daughter of retired NFL All-Pro quarterback Randall Cunningham, finished 10th in the high jump despite coming in ranked second in the world this year. Cunningham, 19, was 13th in Rio.

Russian Maria Lasitskene repeated as world champion — as an authorized neutral athlete due to her nation’s ban for its poor anti-doping record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Oldest Olympic high jump champion retires

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Spain’s Ruth Beitia, who in Rio became the oldest Olympic high jump champion by six years, announced her retirement at age 38 on Wednesday.

Beitia was pending medical results for possible arthritis, according to Marca.

She followed her Olympic title with silver at the European Indoor Championships in March but didn’t crack the top three at any 2017 Diamond League meet and was 12th at the world championships in August, her final meet.

Beitia capped a decorated career in Rio with her first Olympic medal. She did so against a field that did not include the reigning Olympic or world champions from Russia.

Beitia cleared 1.97 meters to win in Rio, the shortest gold-medal height since 1980, to become the oldest Olympic gold medalist in any jumping event. German long jumper Heike Drechsler previously held the age record.

Two women in the Rio heptathlon — gold medalist Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium and Brit Katarina Johnson-Thompson — cleared 1.98 meters in that competition.

Beitia previously retired after finishing fourth at the 2012 Olympics, then came back to win her first World Outdoor Championships medal, a bronze, in 2013.

“A medal in Rio would be the last dream I have left to accomplish in this sport,” she said before the Olympics.

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Nate Holland still motivated by repeated Olympic heartbreak

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At 38 years old, Nate Holland knows PyeongChang would likely be his last chance to add an Olympic medal to a trophy case already blinding with seven X Games snowboard cross gold medals.

“I’m not there to get top 10 and go check out a hockey game,” Holland said last month. “I’ve had three Olympics that I’ve done that.”

Holland entered all three Olympics since snowboard cross debuted as the reigning X Games champion. A medal contender, if not the favorite.

He washed out each time. In the quarterfinals in Torino. In the four-man final in Vancouver. In the first elimination round in Sochi.

“There’s something about these five rings that give me a lot of drive, ambition and joy,” Holland said on NBC after his 2014 disappointment, “but they do cause a lot of heartbreak.”

Some snowboarders are ambivalent about the Olympics. Not Holland.

He remembers watching the 1988 Calgary Winter Games growing up in Idaho, a decade before snowboarders were let in. After snowboard cross was added in 2003, a motivated Holland made the subsequent World Cup team and reached the podium.

Holland chalked up a 14th-place finish in Torino in 2006 to being “young and reckless.” The miss that sticks with him to this day is Vancouver 2010, when he was the only finalist not to earn a medal.

“That’s probably the No. 1 memory of racing is that feeling of failure when I got to the bottom,” he said. “Out of a four-man heat, they’re ushering me off, pushing me out of the finish corral.

“Dude, you gotta leave. What are you doing here still? We’ve got to do a podium ceremony.”

“I’m still out of breath. My heart rate’s at 180 still.”

“What’s going on? No, dude, you need to leave. Thanks for coming, goodbye.”

“Those are motivating factors in the gym when all I want to do is go home and go change some diapers,” Holland said.

Holland and wife Christen (who commissioned that trophy case as a Christmas gift) welcomed daughter Lux on Nov. 1, 2015. Lux is already riding on her own three-foot Burton board. In Uggs.

“Thank God for FaceTime,” Holland said. “I’m able to call every day when I’m in Europe and have breakfast with my daughter.”

Her dad is trying to become the oldest U.S. Olympic snowboarder in the sport’s two-decade history and the oldest medalist from any country.

“Some say I’m too old,” Holland says. “I say BS.”

Holland is realistic, though. The man who used to ride by the motto “wreck or win” has become more calculated and listens to his body. The Advil doses are more frequent. He enjoys the spa.

“I come back every year and there’s definitely some question in my mind whether I’m fast,” said Holland, whose detailed injury history included coming back from a December 2013 broken clavicle to win X Games and make the Olympic team. “Every year, I give myself a little pat on the back. I’m like, all right, I’m still in that group. I’m not sitting three seconds out.”

Holland was the fastest at the PyeongChang venue on Feb. 27, 2016, winning the Olympic test event.

He may have picked up nuances on the new Olympic course that the riders half his age have not, but Holland also hasn’t made a World Cup podium since. Snowboard cross was cut from the X Games after 2016.

If Holland can’t crack the top three at any of the four Olympic selection events in December and January, he might be left off the U.S. team.

Holland said he won’t work any harder this winter than he did in 2006, 2010 or 2014. Each time, he felt satisfied with what he put in. What he left the Olympics with — Team USA clothes, maybe some hockey ticket stubs — is what’s unfulfilling.

“You want something that you can’t have,” he said. “I don’t have an Olympic medal, and I’m really passionate about it.”

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