Usain Bolt: I was going to quit after being booed by my home fans
Published 09/09/2013 | 14:03
He may be a six-time Olympic and eight-time world champion, but Usain Bolt has revealed he was left debating whether to even continue as a sprinter after being booed for pulling out of a race before all of his success in 2006.
The Jamaican 100m and 200m world record holder has been an utterly dominant force in world sprinting since claiming three gold medals at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
But two years before he burst onto the world stage in China, Bolt was left to rue his occasional laziness and lax approach to training when he pulled up injured in front of his home crowd in Kingston.
In extracts from his new autobiography Faster than Lightning, serialised in The Times, Bolt describes how he was running in a 4 x 400m relay when he tweaked his hamstring and hobbled off the track for help.
"I looked for Coach among the faces in the crowd but as I got closer to the main stand there was a boo. Then another, and another.
"The noise was getting louder and louder with every step. By the time I'd reached the sidelines, everybody in the bleachers was cat-calling me. Man they looked annoyed.
"Some people were even shouting, cussing, saying that I'd stopped on purpose because I knew I wasn't going to win. They jeered me for limping away.
"'What the hell is this?' I thought, feeling sick - seriously sick. 'Where did this come from?' My world crashed in; I couldn't believe what I was hearing."
The then 19-year-old says the criticism from his own fans hit him hard and forced him to question his own ability.
"Is this really working?" he says. "Should I really continue? All these things that I do, no matter how hard I try, this might not be for me. This track and field thing is tough."
Fortunately for Jamaica and athletics fans worldwide, Bolt decided to continue with his athletics career and has never looked back.