PARIS: World sprint sensation Usain Bolt ruled himself out of the rest of the 2010 season because of a back problem that affects his striding power.
The Jamaican, who won gold in both the 100 and 200 metres at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2009 World Championships, and is world record holder in both events, suffered his first defeat in two years when beaten by American Tyson Gay in the 100m in Stockholm on Friday.
After that outing, Bolt underwent medical examinations and was told by Dr Hans Mueller-Wohlfahrt in Munich on Monday that he risked injuring his hamstring or calf if he continued to race with a tightness in his lower back.
Bolt has now withdrawn from the IAAF Diamond League meetings in Zurich and Brussels, the latter August 27 meeting tagged as a showdown between the Jamaican, Gay and former world record holder Asafa Powell, also of Jamaica.
“I am very disappointed to miss two of the top meetings on the circuit - Zurich and Brussels - but trust that it is better for me not to take any risks this year,” said Bolt. “The next two years are very important championship years and I hope to be back fully fit and healthy.
The Jamaican, whose early season form was hampered by an ongoing Achilles problem, brings the curtain down on a summer during which he has clocked the season’s joint fastest time in the 100m (9.82sec in Lausanne along with Powell) and fastest in the 200m (19.56 in Kingston). In Stockholm last weekend, Gay clocked 9.84 seconds with Bolt in second in 9.97 seconds and left complaining about his lack of power.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th, 2010.
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