Five to Replace Bolt

Usain Bolt’s Olympic career is over and he has completed the triple treble winning nine gold medals over three games. Beijing, London and Rio de Janeiro have witnessed the greatest track star of all time.

He is irreplaceable nobody brings the dazzling pace of the Jamaican or the entertainment value of the fastest man alive. These five are the closest we currently have to the unbelievable, unforgettable Usain Bolt.

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Bolt has become the greatest track athlete of all time.

  1. Yohan Blake (Jamaica)

Blake is the oldest of the athletes mentioned at 26 and he has plenty of experience behind him not least the fact he beat Usain Bolt four years ago at the Olympic trials clocking an impressive 9.69 time faster than Bolt’s winning time this year.

Blake has been plagued by injury over the last four years. In London he won silver twice behind Bolt and was part of the relay team. He dropped to fourth this year (in the 100 metres) as Gatlin and De Grasse claimed medals and could only manage a time of 9.93 but he is some way off his best.

2. Andre De Grasse (Canada)

Very much the up and coming star of athletics at just 21 he has time on his side. De Grasse claimed two medals in Rio bronze in the 100 metres (9.91) and silver in the 200 metres (20.02).

His personal best in both distances came in Rio his 9.91 100 metre time and his semi-final 19.8 time were the best he has ever run. The best is yet to come from the Canadian.

3. Adam Gemili (Great Britain)

The 22 year old was unlucky to finish the 200 metres without a medal as Frenchman Le Maitre bagged third three thousandths of a second ahead of Gemili. He was just off his best at Rio but 4th is an improvement on 5th at the World Championships in Moscow.

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Gemili devastated after narrowly missing out on a medal in Rio.

The 200 metre is certainly his better discipline despite setting a time of 9.97 for the 100 metres in Birmingham last year.

4. Trayvon Bromell (United States of America)

Bromell is also still young at the age of 21 and he is surely destined for big things. The sprinter won the IAAF Indoor Championships 60 meters earlier this year and is consistently clocking sub-10 in the 100 metres.

Running 10.06 in the Olympics was some way off his 9.74 best that he ran in Oregon in July with his best 200 metres time of 20.03 which had he run that in the Olympics it would have won him a bronze medal.

5. Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa)

Announced himself on the world athletics scene dramatically at the Olympics. Being more of a 400 metre runner the South African has now won both the Olympics (43.03) and the World Championships (43.38).

However Van Niekerk could turn his attentions to shorter races in future with impressive times in the 100 metres his personal best being 9.98 which came in Bloemfontein in March. He also has clocked 19.94 in the 200 metres last year which had he run that in the Olympic final would have seen him get the silver medal.

All these athletes are outstanding talents and look set to dominate the athletics stage over the coming years as Usain Bolt and the older generation begin to retire but it is clear nobody will easily match the accomplishments of the great Usain Bolt.

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Should Gatlin be Allowed to Race?

The 100 metres can be one of the most enthralling events in the world of athletics especially with the superstars of Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Justin Gatlin all incredible athletes in their own right. Gatlin has clocked the fastest times this year by some way running under 9.8 a number of times.

The question is should the two time doping cheat be allowed to run and compete in the sport’s biggest events such as the Beijing World Championships in August or the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games next summer. The American served his first ban in 2001 after testing positive for amphetamines which he claimed was from medication. The next ban came in 2006 when the sprinter failed a test by USADA as he was taking some sort of testosterone boosting drug.

Justin Gatlin at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Justin Gatlin at the 2012 Olympic Games.

These tests led to bans but Gatlin returned and only three years ago he claimed the bronze medal at the London Olympics. The fact that he has been able to compete at all after his second ban mystifies me. As does the return of Jamaican drug cheat Powell who has been another one of the form runners this season. Then there is former Olympic champion Tyson Gay who received a one year doping ban in 2013 for using a banned steroid.

Asafa Powell only received a 6 month ban for using a banned substance.

Asafa Powell only received a 6 month ban for using a banned substance.

How can it be that these athletes that have cheated can be allowed to race? Especially in the prestigious events such as the Diamond League meets, World Championships or Olympics the pinnacle of athletics.

Justin Gatlin is likely to beat Bolt and Blake to the gold medal in China next month and for the drug taking cheat to win a gold medal in such a big, prestigious event is a horrific damnation of the sport to rise up this cheat as an idol for young aspiring athletes to try to follow.

Justin Gatlin after winning a Diamond League event in Rome.

Justin Gatlin after winning a Diamond League event in Rome.

How sporting brand Nike can still sponsor the American sprinter is sickening. For such a well thought of and popular brand to sponsor the substance abusing liar of an athlete doesn’t sit right with me. How can the other athletes with ‘clean’ records be expected to watch opponents like Gatlin or Powell pick up these plaudits when they have in the past been using banned substances?

I hope that one day athletics governing body the IAAF can show a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on substance abuse and hand lifetime bans to these athletes ruining the competitive spirit and overshadowing the incredible achievements of these truly remarkable athletes.