CHARISMA: Usain Bolt
THE WORLD’S fastest man has been likened to Muhammad Ali by Olympic chief Lord Sebastian Coe. After another set of displays by Bolt, the London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe has compared the Jamaican sprinter to the boxer dubbed The Greatest.
Bolt has been track and field’s standout performer in recent years, which was confirmed yet again with his 200m and 4x100m golds at the recent World Championships in Daegu.
Coe said of the charismatic Bolt: “In Daegu Stadium at the World Championships, I watched a host of kids aged about 11 or 12 screaming with excitement and fighting to get near Usain Bolt after his quite stupendous 200 metres triumph and couldn't help casting my mind forward to London next year. The Muhammad Ali of athletics is on his way to an Olympic Stadium near you!
THE GREATEST: Muhammad Ali
“It just reinforced for me how fantastic it could be to have Bolt there. There really is an Ali-like aura about this guy that is now transcending all sports.
He added: “I've spoken to him and he's told me how he wants to blow people's minds in London, to make yet another extraordinary impact that will cement the status of legend that he wants for himself. London is consuming him; I know he's going to base himself in England for quite a while before the Games.
“For all the showmanship, I've never seen anyone in this sport who can switch from showman to serious performer at the click of a finger. This is a made-for-TV performance. You see him play up to the camera when it's trained on him in lane five or six but as soon as it disappears, he switches to complete focus.
“No man has ever successfully defended both Olympic 100m and 200m titles; do not bet against Bolt doing it.”