BRUSSELS: Usain Bolt is ready to chill out on holiday after bagging another three world gold medals in a season during which he suffered only one defeat, and that was by one-hundredth of a second.
The Jamaican’s 100m victory in 9.80sec at the season-ending Diamond League meet on Friday crowned another amazing season which was marred early on by a dearth of doping cases.
Positive tests for teammate and former world record holder Asafa Powell and top American sprinter Tyson Gay, and injury to his main rival from Jamaica, Yohan Blake, had stripped the track circuit of three of their main performers.
And again it was Bolt who steered the world of track and field out of those doldrums.
The 27-year-old went to last month’s world championships in Moscow with nagging question marks over his form, as there had been at the London Olympics and the 2011 Daegu worlds.
Bolt promptly dispelled any concerns by claiming treble gold, winning the individual 100 and 200m crowns and then anchoring home the Jamaican 4x100m relay team to give a rosy tint to the world of athletics.
It means that apart from his false-start blip in the Daegu 100m, Bolt has won every global sprint title on offer since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an astonishing feat he aims to carry through until the 2016 Games in Rio.
The six-time Olympic gold medallist’s world medal haul now stands at eight golds, bringing him level with American women’s 200m specialist Allyson Felix, and retired US track stars Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson.
With no global championships planned for 2014, Bolt has made several hints that he might target a debut appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
But first up is a well-earned holiday back in Jamaica, albeit interspersed with at least two return trips to Europe to fulfil sponsor commitments.
“It’s the end of the season, I’ve got no worries, I’m totally relaxed now, I’ll have some fun and put my feet up,” said Bolt, whose sole defeat of the season came over 100m at the Rome Diamond League meet at the hands of American Justin Gatlin.
“I’m looking forward to going home, to see my friends and extended family, and just to chill out.”
Bolt admitted that age was working against him, and that every precaution would be taken to avoid injury next season.
“It’s getting harder. The older you get, the harder it is to come back from injury,” he said. “The key thing next season is to stay injury free, stay in great shape and run fast times.
“Hopefully everything will go smoothly next year and I’ll attempt the 200m record.
“Who knows, maybe I’ll go to the Commonwealth Games and go for a medal to add to my tally.
“I’ll see with my coach at the start of the season.”
Bolt also underlined that he was not tiring of being the number one draw in athletics and one of global sports’ true superstars with a marketability that sponsors and meet organisers can but drool over.
“It’s all about the energy of the crowd that makes me feel so good, I want to go out and really put on a good performance,” he said.
“It’s a part of me, I’m not trying to be someone else, it’s not something I get tired of.”