Usain Bolt says he almost made a sensational return to the track at the Tokyo Olympics, but his coach persuaded him not to
- Usain Bolt said he was close to returning to the track for the Olympics, but his coach told him not to.
- The eight-time Olympic champion says he's "got that itch," but thinks it is too late for a return.
- Bolt retired in 2017 having won eight gold medals across three Olympic Games.
The eight-time Olympic champion sprinter retired from the sport in 2017, but told BBC Sport that he has "got that itch" to run again.
"It's too late. If I was going to come back it would have been for this Olympics.
"When I told my coach I was going to retire he sat me down and said 'when you retire that's it. I'm not doing any comeback tours, nothing. So make sure you are ready to retire.'"
"I remember I went to him in 2019 and said 'what do you think about coming back for the Olympics?' And he looked at me and said 'don't even start'.
"So if it's not my coach, I'm not going to do it, because I believe in him and if he says no, it's no but I've got that itch though."
For the entirety of his Olympic career, Bolt was coached by Glen Mills and the two first started working together after the Athens Olympics in 2004, before Bolt's elite career started.
Bolt won eight gold medals in his career including a hat-trick of wins in the 100 meters.
Despite retiring in 2017, Bolt remains the fastest man in the world having set a 100 meter record of 9.58 seconds which he recorded in 2009.
Speaking of the current crop of sprinters, Bolt backed Jamaican sprinters Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah to break the women's world record which stands at 10.49 seconds.
"When I saw the girls really stepping up and really running fast I thought 'this could really happen.'
"Elaine's technique has really improved and the same with Shelly-Ann. She runs much more upright and her fluency looks way better. So I think these girls are going to be knocking on the door.
"People have talked about this record over the years. So if they can break it it would be massive for the sport," he said.
Bolt had previously criticized Jamaica's current crop of male sprinters, saying during the Olympics that he was "disappointed" by their lack of success.
"I felt like we had a good crop of [male] athletes for the last couple of Olympics, so for me, it really bothers me to know that this is where we are right now, where most of the world is ahead of us."
"It's a massive deal to see him back. Cristiano demands a lot, so he will demand a lot from these players and it will only make them better. He's on a different level, he is a machine.
"I think he will play until he's 42 because he will always be so fit and on a higher level to a lot of the younger players because of the work he puts in and the dedication he has."
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