Usain Bolt declines to name Jamaica’s next great male sprinter

Usain Bolt is among the growing number of Jamaicans waiting for the next crop of male sprinters who will help the island return to the pinnacle of global athletics.

Usain Bolt celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 200 metres at the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing, China. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF)

Jamaica dominated the track for the better part of a decade, led by Bolt and a talented cadre of young sprinters, who commanded the eyes of the world during 2007/2008 to 2017.

The eight-time Olympic champion, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer last week, declined to name who he thought would lead the nation’s charge for a sprint resurgence.

“I just watch; I have bad luck in choosing people,” he said, adding “I just observe and appreciate the talent and hope my records never go.”

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake after winning gold and silver at the London Olympic Games.

Bolt won the Olympic 100 and 200 metre events on three successive occasions from 2008 to 2016.

He was the World 200 metre champion in 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015. He also won the 100 metres in all those years, with the exception of 2011 when he false started, opening the field for countryman Yohan Blake to take the title.

With Bolt’s retirement in 2017, following the World Championships in London where he was beaten into third, and failed to complete the sprint relay, the world has been waiting for Jamaica’s newest male star.

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads a cadre of rising female sprinters.

The country had no medallist in the sprints at last year’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar. In fact, it had only one finalist, Blake in the 100 metres, and none in the 200m metres.

Women’s sprinting hasn’t suffered the same decline with Jamaican stalwarts like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson leading the charge as up and coming athletes Briana Williams, Jonielle Smith, Kiara Grant and Kevona Davis stand ready to join them.