Wayde van Niekerk ready for challenge of being the next Bolt

Jonathan Hernandez
August 4, 2017

In the 100 meters, it had appeared that De Grasse had begun to get under the skin of the usually unflappable Bolt, who is seeking to end his matchless career with a seventh global 100 meters title in Olympic and World Championships.

And the IAAF World Championship in the United Kingdom, beginning on Friday, will be the Jamaican's last worldwide event. "If I show up at a championships you know I'm fully confident and ready to go".

In a barb towards De Grasse earlier this week, Bolt - when asked about his likely successor - said: "I am not going down that road".

The fastest women's 200m runner of the year, Tori Bowie of the U.S., is also taking part, making this race one of the potential Championship highlights.

De Grasse added: "I'm in the best shape of my life and extremely disappointed that I will not have the chance to compete for my country in London". His sizzling, albeit wind-aided, 9.69 seconds in the 100 metres in Stockholm hinted the Canadian record of 9.84, set by Donovan Bailey in 1996 and tied by Bruny Surin in 1999, might not be long for this world.

"I hope that he takes heed, takes his time to heal and hopefully everything goes smoothly so that he can get back on track next season". Bolt was also surprised by his parents who joined him onstage to present him with a special pair of Bolt Legacy Spikes as he prepares for his final race at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. But at some point just the close net of people I was with said, 'Listen to us Usain, I know it is hard but you need to get back training.

On the eve of his final two races - the 100m and the 4x100m relay - the 30-year-old told Reuters TV that he would be as focused on the finish line as always.

"Hopefully, athletes will see what's going on and understand that if they don't stop what they're doing, the sport will die", Bolt said.

Athletics Canada head coach Glenroy Gilbert said the timing was awful for De Grasse, as "I know he really wanted to make a mark here". "Usain Bolt's the best athlete who's probably ever lived, and Andre will be the first to admit that".

There is no shortage of suitors in London to Bolt's sprint crown.

"On Sunday morning I want the headlines to say, 'Unbeatable".

In the 10,000m, the 34-year-old Briton will have to overcome Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor, the world cross-country champion and silver medallist behind him in Beijing in 2015.

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