Rivals believe Usain Bolt can be beaten in swansong race
Sports star will run his last individual 100m in London this week but will he win it?
Usain Bolt will race for the last time at the World Athletics Championships beginning in the capital this weekend, bringing down the curtain on one of the greatest-ever sporting careers.
Bolt has eight Olympic golds and holds three spectacular world records that may not fall during his lifetime. He hasn't been beaten in a 100m or 200m race since Justin Gatlin edged him by a hundredth of a second in Rome in 2013.
Bolt will race over 100m for the last time in London on Saturday night (although he will return to take part in the 4x100m relay later in the week). But could his big farewell turn out to be a damp squib?
His rivals are lining up and sense that he's not force he once was. Among them is British sprinter CJ Ujah, who was born only ten miles from the Olympic Stadium in Stratford where the championships are being held.
Ujah finished fourth behind Bolt at the Monaco Diamond League last month but he, like others, has recognised chinks in the armour of the 30-year-old, a suggestion he might be fallible after all," says The Guardian.
Ujah tells the paper: "We're all in or around the same times. So I think if anyone raises their game – even myself – anything can happen. It's not like he's going to go and run a 9.5s or 9.6s. It's just not going to happen. He's not the Bolt that's been there every year."
The 30-year-old Jamaican may feel his rivals breathing down his neck.
There were rumours Bolt's team had demanded the removal of Andre De Grasse, the Rio Olympic 200m silver medallist, from the 100m in Monaco, says the Guardian. The paper adds that he has gone under ten seconds only once this season.
Not only that but his "physical condition is also in question after he scheduled an emergency meeting with the German doctor Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt in June to address a problem with his back".
This gives his rivals a "golden opportunity to upstage the legend in his final individual race".
An even bigger threat than Ujah is the Canadian sprinter De Grasse, who has been anointed as Bolt's successor as the fastest man on earth.
"London will be dominated by Bolt's farewell, but De Grasse will not be mistaking respect for deference," says the Daily Mail. He "wants to gatecrash Bolt's grand farewell" and still considers himself unlucky not to have beaten the Jamaican over 200m in Rio.
"It's not a rivalry," he tells the Mail when asked about his relationship with Bolt. "He has dominated for so long. I've still not beaten him – but I'd love to. To have a rivalry you have to have a back and forth. He is on his way out and a veteran. I'm trying to prove myself."