Bolt looks to cement Olympic legacy

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 Usain Bolt has confirmed his retirement after Rio Olympics.

Usain Bolt is keenly aware of the narrative of his extraordinary career and, for the fastest man who ever lived, the only fitting way to close its Olympic chapter is with a third sprint sweep at next month's Rio Games.

Bolt is already assured of a place not only in the pantheon of his own sport but alongside the likes of Muhammad Ali, Pele, Michael Jordan and Jack Nicklaus.

It is company the confident Jamaican covets and he is determined to concrete his legacy by capping eight years of sprint dominance by defending his 100, 200 and 4x100 meter relay titles in what he has said will be his final Olympics.

Barring injury or mishap, Bolt will run in his ninth Olympic final in the relay at the Rio Olympic Stadium on August 20.

He ran his first final in Beijing, exploding into the consciousness of sports fans around the world by coasting to 100 metres victory in a record time of 9.69 seconds with one shoelace undone.

Since that balmy August night Bolt has proved unbeatable in major championships, winning 11 world titles and sweeping the three sprint titles at the Beijing and London Olympics.

The one title he missed came at the 2011 worlds in Daegu when he was disqualified from the 100 final.

Then, some of the conjecture over his false start focused on possible jitters caused by a lack of fitness but he blew away those theories with victories in the 200 and the relay. Bolt has since lived with, and confounded, the injury narrative ahead of two major championships — a sore hamstring hampered him before London and a back problem similarly limited his outings before the 2015 world championships.

This year, Bolt was forced to skip the Jamaican Olympic trials because of another hamstring injury but his rivals, chastened perhaps by experience, have no doubt he will be at his best in Rio.

Former world champion Tyson Gay described the injury scares as a "tradition," while Justin Gatlin said it was all part of the "crazy stuff" of an Olympic year.

"On the eve of the Olympics we'll all be debating whether he can win. And then he will win," American 400 meter great Michael Johnson said.

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