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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