Jamaican sprinter wins third Olympic 200m gold after racing past the finish line in 19.78 seconds.
The multiple Olympic and world gold medallist, who will retire after August’s world championships in London, confessed to being nervous before running his last official race at home during Saturday’s 2nd Racers Grand Prix.
“The run, it was just OK. I must say it was OK. I don’t think I’ve ever been that nervous running a 100-metre [race],” Bolt said after a lap of honour before a packed stadium, including International Association of Athletics Federations President Sebastian Coe and Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Running from lane five, Bolt took control of the race before the halfway mark and pulled away to the delight of more than 30,000 spectators.
His time of 10.03 seconds was well off his world record of 9.58 seconds set in 2009.
“I think that was possibly one of my worst races. My execution was poor, my start was poor as always. I think in the last bit I lost it a little.
“But I didn’t expect anything spectacular … my first race since January when I ran a 150-metre and some relays in Australia so I just wanted to stay injury-free, put on a show for the crowd and show them I’m thankful for the support over the years.”
According to fans, he did just that.
“He’s a blessing to not just Jamaica, but to the world and to track and field,” one fan said in Kingston.
Another called the event “special because it is mainly about the career we’ve seen from the beginning. From the start, he has done extremely well”.
Bolt thanked his fans, saying he never expected this much support from a sold-out crowd.
“I never expected this, I knew it was going to be big. The stadium was ram-packed so thank you guys for coming out and supporting me.
“It shows that what I’ve done for the sport is a big deal to them and they really appreciate it,” the 30-year-old said.
“I’ll try my best even when I’ve hung up my spikes to really continue to push track and field in any way possible.”
The double sprint world record-holder has amassed 13 world championship medals and eight Olympic golds.
One additional gold medal was disqualified after a relay team-mate tested positive for a banned substance.
He will make his final bow in August in London, where he will only run the shorter sprint despite having a wildcard for the 200-metre.
“It will definitely just be the 100. I know a lot of people really want to see me run [the 200 metres] but the 100 metres will be the one cause I know people really want to see that also,” Bolt said.
“I’m just going there to do my best and to come through victorious as always.”