Usain Bolt dominated like no other, but excessive focus on him was wrong, feels British sprint legend Linford Christie

New Delhi: Former British 100m Olympic champion Linford Christie feels that nobody has dominated sprint race like Usain Bolt, did but felt that too much spotlight was given to the Jamaican for the good of world athletics.

Christie, who won a gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, said that in his time the field was wide open and anybody could (including the likes of Carl Lewis) win a race, which, he said, was not the case with Bolt.

"In my time, the field was wide open. But Bolt completely dominated the track and this will not happen again for a long time," Christie, who has been brought by footwear giant Puma to grace the Delhi Half Marathon, said.

Usain Bolt retired from athletics during the World Championships in August earlier this year. Image credit: Twitter/@usainbolt

Usain Bolt retired from athletics during the World Championships in August earlier this year. Image credit: Twitter/@usainbolt

"You need a star. It is good for our sport to have a star. Bolt was good for athletics," he told reporters at a media conference.

He said it will be an open field again now that Bolt has retired. The Jamaican sprint star made the announcement during the World Championships in London in August.

In an international career spanning 17 years, Christie won 23 major championship medals for Great Britain. He is the only British athlete to have won gold medals in 100m at all four major competitions — Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

He is the first European to have run sub-10 seconds. His fastest time of 9.87 seconds was recorded when he won the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart.

The 57-year-old Christie felt giving Bolt too much spotlight was wrong and it will now take a few years to find stars.

"Bolt was projected as the only star and they (the IAAF) should have groomed some others also to become stars after Bolt. Since that was not done, it will take some time, may be a couple of years to find stars," he said.

Christie slammed the behaviour of the crowd at the London Stadium for booing American Justin Gatlin when he ran there during the World Championships in August.

"It was wrong on the part of the crowd to boo Gatlin. Booing an athletic does not belong to our sport. If they had wanted to protest, they could have remained just silent."

Asked which was his most cherished win, Christie did not pick the 1992 Olympics final victory but the gold in the 1993 Championships in Stuttgart.

"The 1992 Olympics final did not have some of the best while all of them were there in the World Championships final a year later. So, the Stuttgart gold was my best," he said.

American sprint legend Carl Lewis did not compete in the 1992 Olympics as he failed to make it to the US sprint team but finished fourth in the 1993 World Championships 100m final race.

Christie also said he had always preferred to win medals rather than setting records.

"Anybody will run faster sometime and so your record will go one day. But the medal you had won cannot be taken away.

Updated Date: Nov 17, 2017 21:54 PM

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