KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sporting Alert — Usain Bolt, in what will be his final competitive race on home soil, leads a galaxy of world-class track and field talents down to compete at the JN Racers Grand Prix at the National Stadium on Saturday.
The eight-time Olympic champion who holds the world records in both the 100m and 200m, has announced that he will retire at the end of this season, which concludes at the London World Championships this summer.
Fans from all across the globe, in addition to international standouts such as David Rudisha of Kenya, the 800m world record holder, South Africa’s 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, Great Britain’s Mo Farah and America Christian Taylor, will be at the National Stadium in Kingston, to salute the track and field legend.
Bolt, as expected, is ready to put on a show, but admits he’s bracing for an emotional display.
“It’s gonna be a great reception,” he said. “I’m home, the amount of people that called me to get tickets (he laughs), I know the stadium’s gonna be full, so I know it’s gonna be high energy.
“I know it’s gonna be just one big party. It’s going to be emotional, but I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Bolt added: “I don’t know how to feel. It’s my last time in front of my home crowd, so I don’t know how the emotions will be.
“I know they’re gonna be loud. I’m just going out there with an open mind. Just trying to do my best as always and put on a show for them because that’s what they’re coming out there to look forward to.
“We’ll see what happens. The fans in Jamaica know that when I show up, I always show up at my best. I always go out there and give my all.”
He joked: “I always try to make sure they’re happy because they’re very hard to please, but I try my best.”
Bolt will line up in the last race on the schedule – the ‘Salute to a Legend’ 100m race against fellow countrymen Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Jevaughn Minzie, and Nickel Ashmeade.
Asafa Powell was also on the list to race in the event but has withdrawn due to injury.
The former 100m world record holder cited a hamstring strain as the reason for his omission, adding that he wants to be fully fit in two weeks time for the Jamaica National Championships.
Yohan Blake heads the list of entrance in the open 100m with training partner and countryman Kemar Bailey-Cole also entered along with Akani Simbine of South Africa.
Meanwhile, Olympic champion and 400m world record holder Van Niekerk will take on Rasheed Dwyer, Nigel Ellis, Zharnel Hughes and Warren Weir in the men’s 200m.
American Allyson Felix leads the line-up in the women’s 400m, with teammate Courtney Okolo and Jamaica’s Olympic medallist Sherika Jackson and young Tiffany James entered in the event as well.
Elsewhere, Mo Farah and Jamaica record holder Kemoy Campbell go in the men’s 3000m, while David Rudisha heads the field for the men’s 800m.