Bolt tempted to quit athletics following boos by home crowd

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The Jamaican world record holder over the 100m and 200m has been dominant across both events for the last 5 years and aims to break his own 200m world record in 2014, but his career in athletics came close to never materialising after he was booed by his home crowd in Kingston.

In extracts from his new autobiography entitled “Faster than Lightning” which has been serialised by The Times Usain Bolt describes the moment when he pulled up during a 4x400m relay leg with a pulled hamstring.

“I looked for Coach among the faces in the crowd but as I got closer to the main stand there was a boo. Then another, and another.

“The noise was getting louder and louder with every step. By the time I ‘d reached the sidelines, everybody in the bleachers was cat-calling me. Man they looked annoyed.

“Some people were even shouting, cussing, saying that I ‘d stopped on purpose because I knew I wasn ‘t going to win. They jeered me for limping away.

” ‘What the hell is this? ‘ I thought, feeling sick – seriously sick. ‘Where did this come from? ‘ My world crashed in; I couldn ‘t believe what I was hearing. “

Only 19 at the time, this caused Bolt to seriously question whether he wanted to pursue a career in athletics.

“Is this really working? ” he says. “Should I really continue? All these things that I do, no matter how hard I try, this might not be for me. This track and field thing is tough. “

Fortunately Bolt decided to continue under the guidance of coach Glen Mills and has been a revelation for international track & field; not only because of his ability but also his personality which has captivated the hearts of both the hard-core fans and the occasional spectators alike.

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First published on: 9 September, 2013 12:00 am

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