Zurich — Usain Bolt has decided to end his injury-plagued season early, having competed in just three races in 2014.
Organizers for Thursday’s Diamond League meeting in Zurich said Sunday that Bolt had withdrawn from the event’s 100-meter race and will not compete again this season. The decision comes a day after the Olympic champion and world record-holder won a 100 race in Warsaw, Poland, clocking 9.98 seconds.
The statement said Bolt’s coach Glen Mills “feels it is now time to shut it down while he is healthy and injury free with a view on his preparations for the 2015 season.”
Bolt’s preparations for the season were disrupted by a foot injury and his only other appearances in 2014 were in the 4x100 relay for Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and a 100 exhibition race in Rio de Janeiro.
He won all three events but without displaying the type of speed that has made him the sport’s biggest star. Saturday was the first time this year he ran a 100 race in under 10 seconds.
With no major titles on offer in 2014, Bolt hopes to be back to full fitness for next year’s world championships in Beijing, which will mark a return to the Bird’s Nest stadium where he won three Olympic golds in 2008 and set as many world records.
His absence will be a major blow to European meet organizers, though, as the Jamaican remains the sport’s biggest draw.
However, Zurich meet director Patrick Magyar said he understood Bolt’s decision.
“Usain’s body has delivered tremendous performances over the last years. But, it is a body and not a machine,” Magyar said. “If an athlete of that level and his coach feel more rest is needed, we are certainly not going to question this and fully support this decision.”