Sports

Bright future

Bolt says Racers Grand Prix in good hands despite his absence

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

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Having pulled a galaxy of stars and thousands of fans to the JN Racers Grand Prix over the last two years, track legend Usain Bolt believes his absence won't affect the pulling power of the event.

Bolt, considered the greatest sprinter of all time, retired after the 2017 London World Championships following a stellar career. Last year was his swansong at the Racers Grand Prix.

But can the 2018 Racers Grand Prix, set for Saturday, June 9, attract the world's best athletes in his absence?

“I believe Racers Grand Prix is very strong with a lot of good athletes competing this year. I see a very bright future for the meet with the world's best sprint coach, Glen Mills in charge,” Bolt told the Jamaica Observer.

The world-renowned Mills is chairman of the Racers Grand Prix organising committee and also meet director.

The Racers Grand Prix started in 2016 and attracted some of the best athletes, from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to Carmelita Jeters and last year fans witnessed world record holders Wayde van Niekerk (400m), David Rudisha (800m) and Bolt (100m, 200m) competing inside the National Stadium.

Bolt said young athletes will still be attracted to the meet for sure. All they have to do is: “Look at what I achieved while at Racers”.

The Racers meet is dubbed the “Next Generation of Stars”, and Bolt is imploring young athletes to work hard to achieve their goals and be world beaters.

“Jamaica has a lot of talent and the youth should be inspired by the achievement of me, Asafa and Shelly-Ann, etc,” said Bolt.

“However, the young athletes need to realise that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to transition from high school champs to world level. I see a lot of young athletes lose their hunger when they sign their first contract and not improve,” he added.

At the moment, the eight-time Olympic champion is training with Norwegian top-flight football team Stromsgodset and won't be able to attend the event this year.

“Unfortunately, I will not be in Jamaica on that date as I am playing a football match called Socceraid for UNICEF in Manchester the following day. I am definitely excited to see the next generation of stars,” said Bolt.

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