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Usain Bolt to highlight day one of London World Championships

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Senoj-Jay Givans,Usain Bolt,London World Championships 2017,Yohan Blake,Julian Forte,London 2017,

File Photo: Usain Bolt strikes his famous Lightening Bolt pose after competing in his last competitive race in Jamaica at the Racers Grand Prix.

 

 

 

 

It is only fitting that at the Championships where he will call time on his historic and legendary career, Jamaican sprinting icon Usain Bolt will highlight day one of the IAAF World Athletics Championships which begins on Friday in London, England.

The 30 year old announced from last year that this would be his swansong and despite numerous appeals to rethink his decision he has stuck to his guns to make London his last hurrah.

“I am looking forward to it,” he said of his impending retirement. "I will be betting on somebody to win and that’s the fun part of it.”

A lot has been said about his apparent lack of fitness heading into these Championships but Bolt reassured the public of his readiness on Tuesday at a press conference arranged by his sponsors Puma.

“The last time I ran 9.95, it shows I am going in the right direction. These two rounds leading up to the 100m finals…always help me.”

The man who holds the world record in both the 100m and 200m will not be contesting his pet event, the 200m at the Championships but has opted however to end his career with the blue riband event - the 100m, the final of which will close the show on Saturday. Bolt will also feature in the 4x100m relay for Jamaica which will be contested a week later.

Also set to feature in the 100m for Jamaica is Bolt's club mate and training partner Yohan Blake who Bolt has dubbed his 'heir apparent'. Blake himself enters the Championships under a cloud of doubt surrounding his fitness after he pulled out of the Morocco Diamond League with a groin complaint. It was said to be a precautionary measure, however Blake has not had a competitive race since winning the Sprint double at the Jamaica National Athletics Championships and will be race rusty when he faces the starter in the 100m heats on Friday. 

National runner up Julian Forte will also face the starter’s gun on Friday but the MVP athlete has not had a great time of it on the circuit, since finishing second to Blake back in June.

The little known Senoj-Jay Givans makes up the Jamaican sprint quartet that will bow into action on Friday. Givans finished third at the National Championships and will make his senior debut. He will have a lot to prove as he tries to become another household name on the sprinting landscape for Jamaica.

As usual the pundits have been making their predictions as to how many medals Jamaica will garner at the Championships but there is an apparent chink in the Jamaican armour which suggests that the fear factor that athletes from other countries had is now waning. 

Jamaica's prowess in the sprint is not what is was since 2008 and those wearing the green gold and black of the Caribbean island will be the primary target for the rest of the world. 

A dominant performance by Bolt, coupled with a solid performance from his side kick Blake could however change the perception that Jamaica is vulnerable. 

The start of London 2017 is a mere few hours away and with anticipation reaching fever pitch the whole world will be focused on the capital of England as the ‘Big Man’ pulls on his new gold, green and purple spikes as he hunts, World Championship 100m gold for the 4th time.