mid-day editorial: It takes discipline to last in the long run

Aug 18, 2017, 06:05 IST | mid-day correspondent

Long after the last race is done and dusted with, experts are still talking about Usain Bolt's forgettable exit. Bolt, of course, is not going to be defined by one race; he has already done enough to seal his place amongst the pantheon of greats in world athletics.

The Jamaican team pulled up the organisers for the late start to the race, with reports still coming in about how furious they were with organisers. The death of an athlete a few days earlier set back Bolt mentally.

Yet, reports are also flying in fast about Bolt beginning his retirement party early, cavorting late into the night prior to the Worlds, with a bit too much booze, leaving clubs really late. There may be something to these reports about all-night bashes prior to races, as there is video evidence to support the same.

It goes to show the importance that discipline has in sport. If you want to be a champion, if you want to retain the champion tag, you need to be disciplined, there are no two ways about it. That is why not everybody can be a sporting great. Many have the initial talent that can take them to the very top, but do they have the discipline to stick it out? Do they have what it takes to keep at the grind, day after day, month after month, and year after year?

An obnoxious or maybe unfair amount of talent and genius can take one to a certain height. The divine may have been hugely kind to certain athletically-gifted individuals, but it is only razor-sharp focus and the hard yards that can keep you there. That is why you have the disciplinarians in sport - the coaches and officials who see to it that athletes toe the line.

Maybe that is the last lesson that this Bolt of lightning left all young sportspersons with - you just can't do it without discipline.

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