IAAF boss confident of Bolt successor


May 07, 2016
Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men's 100 Metres final, during day two of the 2015 World Championships at the Beijing National Stadium, China.

DOHA, Qatar:

International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) President, Sebastian Coe, believes track and field will suffer a might blow when its poster boy, Usain Bolt, hangs up his spikes.

As with what occurred in boxing with Muhammad Ali, however, he thinks a new champion will emerge.

"Usain will leave a big gap in our sport when he does decide to call it a day," Coe told STAR Sports.

"To us Usain Bolt is as big as Muhammad Ali was to boxing. There were plenty of very, very good world class fighters at the same time Mohammed Ali was boxing, but the focus inevitably tended to be on Mohammed Ali.

"But people also said what is going to happen after Mohammed Ali retired, well Floyd Mayweather happen, Manny Pacquiao happened, Sugar Ray Leonard happened, Marvin Hagler happened, Felix Trinidad happen, so great fighters came on the scene. "

Coe said with the focus is normally on Bolt, but his federation has the task of highlighting the other top class athletes around.

God given talents

"The challenge that we have as an international federation and all our individual member federations is to make sure that we are able to showcase the extraordinary God given talents of many of the other athletes in so many other events."

"We will always remember Usain (Bolt), but the challenge has to be to make sure that we have marketing and promotional programmes around all the other great athletes."

Coe said having attended the Carifta Games in Grenada early this year he is not concerned as to where the next Usain Bolt will emerge from.

"I am encouraged in what I see in countries like Jamaica and the Caribbean in general; there is a much greater width now of events. It is not actually just sprinting," Coe said.

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