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Usain Bolt does not regret racing in 2017; no desire to compete again

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Usain Bolt was steadfast. Now is the right time to retire.

The 30-year-old said he did not race one year too many. He feels no need to compete again, to continue on and end his career with a victory.

“No, I think I’ve seen too many people retire and come back into the sport to really make it worse or to shame themselves,” Bolt said Sunday at the 2012 Olympic Stadium, where he came for one final lap of honor on the last day of the 10-day meet. “I personally won’t be one of those persons to come back.”

The eight-time Olympic champion can live with losing his last two races — to polarizing rival Justin Gatlin in the 100m at worlds in London on Aug. 5 — and tumbling to the track in the 4x100m relay on Saturday.

“I don’t think one championship is going to change what I’ve done,” he said. “I remember, after losing the 100m, someone said to me, ‘Usain, don’t worry, Muhammad Ali lost his last fight also.'”

Bolt said he would have an MRI on Monday to assess what he called a “pulled hamstring” that bit him about 15 strides into his relay anchor leg Saturday.

It’s certainly a different ending than what could have been. Bolt left the Olympic stage on top in Rio, sweeping the sprints and kissing the track rather than lying on it face down in pain.

In hindsight, should Bolt have retired one year ago?

“No, I’m fine,” he said. “As I’ve told you, my fans, they wanted to see me one more year. I told you guys, this was about my fans. … If I could come out here and give the fans a show, no matter how it ended, for me, I’m happy.”

Bolt’s immediate future?

“Party,” he said. “I need to go out and have a drink.”

In the following months and years could come more headlines about Bolt dabbling in soccer. Maybe a family.

“Hopefully three kids,” by 20 years from now, he said, adding that he wouldn’t force them into track and field.

Months before these worlds, Bolt wondered if the farewell would move him to tears. He had never cried at a track meet.

“I think I almost cried,” Bolt said. “It was close, but they [tears] didn’t come. I was just saying goodbye.”

That doesn’t mean it was not emotional.

“It’s just really sad that I have to walk away now,” he said.

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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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VIDEO: Hurdler stretchered off after head-first crash

Usain Bolt anchors Jamaica into relay final (video)

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LONDON (AP) — Usain Bolt set the stage for his grand farewell, powering down the finishing straight Saturday to qualify Jamaica for the 4x100m relay final at the world championships.

Fittingly, he will face Justin Gatlin and the United States in the final chapter of his unparalleled career.

Both nations won their heats early Saturday, though the U.S. relay squad got the baton around with more aplomb than Jamaica, which had to rely on Bolt to clinch victory.

And Bolt relished the adulation at the 60,000-capacity Olympic Stadium.

“They’ve been outstanding so far, and continue to surprise me and give me energy,” Bolt said.

For the best part of the past decade, though, Bolt has been 100 percent reliable in getting relay gold for the island nation. The last time Jamaica lost a world championship final was in Bolt’s rookie year in 2007, when he ran the second leg and only took silver behind the Americans.

Ever since, Bolt has flaunted his power at the end of every major championship, getting the third gold medal for himself and sometimes another world record for Jamaica.

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This year, however, he only got bronze in the 100m behind Gatlin. And the result in the relay is no longer a foregone conclusion.

The United States, with Gatlin running the second leg, won the first heat in a world leading time of 37.70 seconds. The Americans beat Britain and Japan, both of which also qualified.

“My team did a great job,” said Gatlin, the oldest of the squad at 35. “They’re thinking and acting like veterans and I’m proud of them.”

Christian Coleman took silver in the 100m ahead of Bolt and it gave the U.S. team an added boost.

“Having the gold and silver medal on the same relay team, which hasn’t been done in a long time, it gives us kind of a confidence booster that the speed can get around the track,” Gatlin said.

Bolt stepped out on the track for the second heat, and the Jamaicans needed him. Trailing when he got the baton on the anchor leg, Bolt powered away, quickly swept past his rivals and had time to look to his right before crossing in 37.95 seconds.

Still, Bolt was supportive of his young teammates.

“They came out here and did the job we wanted them to do, and that’s to get us to the finals. They executed and ran well for a young team,” Bolt said. “Over the years, this will be the team bringing in the golds.”

In the women’s heats, both nations are also through.

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