As much as the 2017 IAAF World Championships of track and field were about bidding farewell to a pair of legends, it was also about introducing some fresh faces that are vying to make their mark as superstars in the sport.
This year’s biggest track meet was advertised as the last hurrah for Mo Farah, arguably the greatest distance runner of all-time, and for Usain Bolt, undeniably the greatest sprinter of all-time. Farah, a Muslim who represents Great Britain, had gone undefeated in four straight major-championship meets dating back to 2012 in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races. Bolt, from Jamaica, had gone undefeated in six of his last seven major-championship meets dating back to 2008 in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash and 4×100-meter relay.
But athletic perfection cannot last forever, and in London last week, both Farah and Bolt fell short of the gold-medal sweeps that many expected in their respective finales. Farah captured gold in the 10,000 meters, but finished second in the 5,000. Bolt, who skipped the 200, finished third in the 100 and didn’t finish the 4×100 relay final, pulling up with a leg injury.
However, I doubt either athlete is retired for good just yet. Farah has already said that while he’s run his last race on the track, he will continue running marathons. Bolt hasn’t been clear on exactly when he’s retiring. With the way things ended for him in London, I believe Bolt is going to look to end his career on a better note at a later date.
Meanwhile, among the group of new champions and breakout stars who shined at the world championships in London were some Muslim athletes who made the medal stand:
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