MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Usain Bolt may have two more races to run this season, but his thoughts have already turned to holidays after he notched up a second treble gold at the World Athletics Championships.
The 26-year-old won the 100 and 200m individual titles in dominant fashion at the Luzhniki Stadium, and appropriately anchored the Jamaican team to victory in the 4x100-m relay, the final event of the nine-day competition yesterday.
His world medal haul now stands at eight gold, bringing him level with American women's 200m specialist Allyson Felix, and retired US track stars Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson.
"I work hard and will continue working hard and pushing myself. I try and do my best at all times," said Bolt, who refused to be drawn on who was the better athlete between him and Lewis.
"I really can't say," he said. "I'm just doing what I've got to do."
Bolt, who is due to race at Zurich and the season-ending Brussels meet in the Diamond League, added: "Anything is possible, that's my motto in track and field.
"I'll give my all and hope to get three [more medals]," he said when asked about his plans for the next World Championships in Beijing in 2015.
"The rest of the athletes have got to step up and push hard."
But while the Jamaican said he "overcame any obstacles that get in my way", he did admit to feeling the creeping pains of age.
"Yes, definitely," he said. "Every year it gets harder, you get older and it gets harder.
"The more you run, the harder it is, but you keep pushing yourself."
In a frank admission, Bolt also took aim at the organisers of the World Championships, which took some time to build a decent atmosphere and notably did not even enjoy a full stadium for the 100m final, normally viewed as the blue riband event of track and field.
"It's been a different championships, not the best," Bolt said.
"It got better over days, they changed a few things. People got more relaxed, people started smiling, they got more people in the stadium and it really picked up at the end.
"I'm used to going to the 100m final with the stadiums rammed, packed.
"I'll have to say a 'seven'" out of 10, Bolt said when asked to grade the championships".
Bolt acknowledged: "I'm happy to be done in the World Championships. I'll go home, take a vacation and chill out."
The world of sprinting had been hit hard in the run-up to the championships with a raft of positive doping cases, notably American Tyson Gay and Jamaican Asafa Powell, tarnishing track and field as a whole.
But veteran Justin Gatlin, who anchored the US team to silver to go along with his individual 100m silver, insisted the sport was healthy.
Gatlin is one of the highest-profile athletes competing to have fallen foul of drugs, having served a four-year ban for taking banned substances, but said: "The sport's in a good place. We still are the sport.
"We put on a good showing here in Moscow to show that the show must go on. The excitement of track and field is still there and it is still magical."