International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge hailed Usain Bolt as the greatest sprinter of all time yesterday as he moved to quell a row with the Jamaican superstar.
Bolt brought the curtain down on another glittering Olympic campaign on Saturday in Jamaica’s world record-breaking 4x100m relay run to replicate his three gold medals from the 2008 Beijing Games.
The sprint superstar anchored the 4x100m relay team to a world record of 36.84sec.
Bolt’s barnstorming finale came just days after Rogge had said final judgement on the sprinter’s place in the Olympic pantheon would have to wait until his career was over.
Rogge’s comments were given short shrift by Bolt however following Saturday’s relay triumph. “What else do I need to do to prove myself as a legend?,” Bolt said. “I’ve won both events twice at the Olympics. I’ve won world championship gold medals, I’ve broken world records many times so I don’t know what else to do really. So next time you see him (Rogge) I think you should ask him what Usain needs to do. I don’t know what else to do really.”
However Rogge moved to damp down the verbal spat on Sunday as the Games drew to a close. Asked again where he ranked Bolt, Rogge replied: “It is a semantic question but you would say that Usain Bolt is an active performance legend, an icon and the best sprinter of all time.”
Bolt wins baton war
Officials handed over the baton used by the Jamaican sprint relay team in their 4x100m world record run on Saturday.
Bolt had tried to keep the baton after running the anchor leg but was forced to surrender it by an official on the track, sparking booing from the crowds.