Canadian sprinter Andre de Grasse is hopeful world’s fastest man Usain Bolt will reconsider his planned retirement from the sport of track and field next year.
Bolt the nine-time Olympic gold medallist has announced that the 2017 World Championships in London will be his last competitive meet, leaving many to speculate on the impact his absence will have on the sport.
The 30-year-old world record holder over the 100m and 200m distances has been the standard-bearer of the sport for the past eight years, but de Grasse believes while the sprinter will be sorely missed his retirement will present an opportunity to the new generation.
“I think it will be a sad day for sport moment if it really is his last race. Hopefully it’s not so, because I love racing with him and he makes me better. But a new era will also open. There will be more opportunities, we may not match the fastest man in history, but we will try to do the best,” de Grasse said.
de Grasse, a long time admirer of Bolt, while flattered by comparisons hopes to stand out as a sprinter in his own right.
“Every time I’m on the track or during interviews I hear it. For me it really is an honour to hear that, for all that he has accomplished in his life, but I want to be Andre de Grasse and I work to make my own way.”