Usain Bolt has 'redefined athletics', but Jesse Owens remains the 'greatest', says Michael Johnson

Monaco: Athletics legend Michael Johnson says while Usain Bolt could be considered as the greatest sprinter in the world but his personal favourite remains Jesse Owens.

Usain Bolt. GettyImages

File photo of Usain Bolt. Getty Images

"For me Jesse Owens is the greatest. No doubt, a lot of people feel that it is Usain Bolt and if there were five other people with me here, they might have differed. But for me it is Owens who is the greatest, personally speaking," said Johnson, who was in Monaco to attend the Laureus Sports award.

Johnson, a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, however, said that the triple Olympic sprint champion Bolt has redefined athletics.

"Undoubtedly, Bolt has redefined athletics and he is great for the competition," he admitted.

The winner of four Olympics and eight World Championship gold medals, Johnson felt that even in the post Bolt era, athletics is one discipline which would excite the fans.

"I would say that even after Bolt's retirement the athletics would provide a lot of excitement. Being an athlete, I am and will always be excited about the sport regardless of whether or not Bolt is there. Great competition is something that the fans want to see," he insisted.

Asked about how the world Athletics body (IAAF) is handling the sport, Johnson said, "I am concerned about the future of sports, leadership of sports and the sport itself. Athletics is a simple sport. It is very easy to follow. I don't know if rule changes are going to affect it.


Published Date: Feb 15, 2017 02:33 pm | Updated Date: Jul 31, 2017 03:19 pm


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