Usain Bolt’s glittering career ended in extraordinary drama on Sunday as he suffered an injury midway into his anchor leg of the men's 4x100 metres relay and pulled out of the last race of career at the World Athletics Championships.
Bolt, who suffered his first 100 metre defeat in nine years on August 5, apparently had a pulled leg only 30 metres into the race. He limped to the finish line in agony.
Bolt received the baton with Jamaica in third, but halfway down the finishing straight, he pulled up clutching his left thigh, eventually doing a forward somersault to the ground, to gasps from the 60,000 sell out London Stadium.
The British quartet of Chijindu Ujah, Adam Gemili, Daniel Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake claimed gold in 37.47 seconds, with the Justin Gatlin-led US four taking silver at 0.05sec and Japan a surprise bronze (38.04).
The result means Bolt, 100 and 200m world record holder, finishes his career with 14 world career medals, one behind American Allyson Felix, to go with eight Olympic golds.
Amid wild home celebrations, Bolt was attended to by medics, but refused a ride in a wheelchair off the track, instead finally getting up and limping alongside his teammates through to the finish line and then off into the bowels of the stadium for treatment.
Since confirming his sprinting dominance with triple gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bolt spent nine seasons amassing 19 global golds, 13 of which have come in individual events.
Allied with a charismatic personality, it has guaranteed Bolt recognition as one of the world's most successful sportsmen. Last year alone he earned $34.2 million, according to Forbes.