Usain Bolt explains why he contemplated getting out of retirement two years after hanging his spikes

Usain Bolt explains why he contemplated getting out of retirement two years after hanging his spikes

Mark Kinyanjui 10:36 - 09.06.2024

Usain Bolt has admitted he contemplated coming out of retirement two years after he called time on his illustrious career but was talked out of it by a key ally.

Usain Bolt, widely regarded as the greatest sprinter of all time, reminisced about his remarkable career and the temptation to return to the track.

The Jamaican legend, who won eight Olympic gold medals and set the world record for the fastest 100m sprint at 9.58 seconds in the 2009 World Championships, retired in 2017 after pulling up with a hamstring injury in the 4x100m relay.

Bolt revealed that he was presented with an opportunity to make a comeback, including a lucrative offer from a former CEO now with Adidas. However, his long-time coach, Glen Mills, firmly advised against it.

"Yeah definitely," Bolt confirmed when asked if he had received offers to race again in an exclusive interview with TalkSPORT.

"I talked to my coach, and he was like, 'Absolutely not.' It was two years after I retired. He told me, 'If you're going to retire, that's it. I'm not going to coach you again. There's no coming back after this.'"

Despite the allure of returning, Bolt respected his coach's decision. "I would do it," he admitted, "because when you go away from a sport, you start missing it. But my coach shut it down real quick."

When questioned about the time required to regain peak fitness, Bolt estimated it would take seven months to get fit and about a year and three months to reach competitive sharpness due to the need for race conditioning.

Reflecting on his potential performance against current athletes, Bolt acknowledged the impressive times being clocked today. "9.80 is fast," he remarked. "Fred [Kerley] ran 9.70 once to win, but it's mainly 9.80, 9.90... It's always 9.80. And 9.80 is regular if I'm not in the best of shape."

Bolt shared an insight from his coach before retiring: "My coach said to me, 'You know you can go on and on if you want.' I asked why, and he said, 'No one is getting faster. You're the one getting slower.' He made a valid point."

The competitive fire still burns within Bolt, who admitted, "I miss the competition. When I sit and watch the World Championships or the Olympics now, your blood starts to boil. You just want to be out there."

During the interview, Bolt humorously addressed a challenge posed by Andy Goldstein and Darren Bent, who suggested a race with Goldstein starting from the halfway line. "I still have it," Bolt quipped, adding cheekily, "You're looking really slow."

Bolt's reflections on his illustrious career and the discipline required to stay on top underscores his legendary status in athletics.

While the temptation to return briefly flickered, his respect for his coach's wisdom and the recognition of his physical limits kept the door to the track firmly closed. However, his enduring love for the sport and the thrill of competition remain as strong as ever.