Bolt Watch: Dancing shoes and a bow from champion Gatlin

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It was not the ending Usain Bolt, nor most fans of athletics, would have wanted at the IAAF World Championships on Saturday.

Bolt, an eight-time Olympic champion and 100 metres world-record holder, could only bow out of the event he has taken to new heights with a bronze medal.

Long-time rival Justin Gatlin was the man to take the top step on the podium, much to the chagrin of the fans who booed the American every time his name was mentioned, while Christian Coleman finished second.

It is not all doom and gloom for Bolt, though, after he equalled Merlene Ottey's record 14-medal haul at the Worlds and can surpass that in next weekend's 4x100m relay - the final event of his illustrious career.

 

DANCING SHOES

Before Bolt got his racing spikes on, he appeared to have footwear appropriate for a different kind of show.

The 30-year-old is known for his laid-back character and was clearly cool ahead of the semi-finals, dancing off the warm-up track to head inside London Stadium to begin the final chapter of his individual career.

CONCERN AFTER SEMI-FINAL

Bolt was beaten across the line by Coleman in the third and final 100m semi, gazing across at the American as he edged him by just one hundredth of a second.

It was Bolt's first defeat in a semi-final at a World Championships or an Olympics, but there was concern it may have been even worse when his name initially failed to show up on the big screen.

Fortunately for the Jamaican and all his adoring fans, he was confirmed as a finalist and opted to celebrate that with London 2017 mascot Hero the Hedgehog.

GATLIN BOWS TO THE TRUE KING

Heading to London, every time Bolt had crossed the line in a 100m final he had done so in first position.

A false start at Daegu 2011 was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect record. That was until Saturday's race.

Gatlin became the first man to beat him at this stage, and he showed his respect by taking a knee and hailing Bolt, whose name was chanted long after the race had finished.

 

INSPIRING MULTIPLE GENERATIONS

Concerns have been raised about getting young people into athletics after a superstar like Bolt leaves the big stage, but it turns out it's not just the youth who are inspired by the Jamaican.

Great Britain's Dwayne Cowan, 32, explained how the iconic sprinter got him started in the sport when most athletes are in their prime.

"I never did athletics until I was around 27, 28 years old. I came and watched Usain Bolt here in 2012 and that just made me want to go in to athletics," Cowan said after qualifying for the 400m semi-finals.

"I did athletics just to keep fit and I was winning training sessions in my local track, so I just started from there. When I first did it I thought athletics was easy; what you have to do to get here is crazy."