Usain Bolt, the fastest sprinter in the world and PokerStars ambassador, surprisingly finished 3rd on Saturday at the IAAF World Championships, losing to American Justin Gatlin, in the final 100-meter individual race of his career.
Gatlin’s victory didn’t delight the crowd at London Stadium in England. He has twice been suspended for being caught using performance enhancing drugs.
When he was introduced to the crowd on Saturday, he was booed. Fans in attendance again booed after he won.
Many in attendance showed up to see Bolt, the 30-year-old Jamaican track icon, win his final race. But he wasn’t thrilled with the crowd’s post-race reaction.
“I always respected him as a competitor,” the Jamaican said of Gatlin. “He’s one of the best I have faced.”
Bolt went on to defend Gatlin against his multiple doping allegations, saying he’s “done his time” and he “deserves to be here.”
Bolt is the fastest human alive. He holds the world record for both 100 and 200 meters. He is an eight-time Olympic gold medalist.
Hanging Around Too Long?
It’s been a rough year since last summer’s Rio Olympic games for the track sensation. He’s suffered back injuries and has been mourning the death of his close friend and fellow athlete, Germaine Mason. Many felt he shouldn’t have competed in the World Championships, but he disagrees.
“I have no regrets,” he told The Guardian. “I came out and did my best; win, lose or draw. I did it for the fans, they wanted me to do one more season. No one is going to be happy to not win. But it doesn’t change anything in my career.”
It’s rare for any world-class athlete to go out on top. Most stick around beyond their prime and then ride off into the sunset. They can’t all be John Elway.
Lesser Known Fact About the Sprint Champion
There’s more to Usain Bolt than being able to out-run an automobile going the speed limit in a residential area. He also enjoys playing poker.
The Olympic gold medalist was signed as a PokerStars ambassador in June. He joined comedian Kevin Hart as the poker site’s newest celebrity promoters.
Hart competed in the $300,000 buy-in Aria Super High Roller Bowl in June wearing a PokerStars patch. Bolt has yet to compete in a major poker tournament, but with many PokerStars’ sponsored live events on the horizon, perhaps his day will come soon.