While the world celebrated and embraced the dominant period of sprint legendary Usain Bolt, former hurdles star Edwin Moses said it wasn’t good for athletics.
Bolt, who rose to prominence globally at the senior level at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and went on to win eight Olympic gold medals, and nine world championships titles to go along with his two world records in the 100m and 200m, competed unmatched for almost a decade.
The Jamaican who owns the 100m world record with 9.58 seconds and 200m record with 19.19s, finally hung up his spikes after winning a bronze medal at the world championships in 2017.
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And while there are many reasons to miss the 34-year-old showman, Moses believes his absence in the sprints has open the doors for other events to take centre stage, which was evident at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I think the sports somewhat suffered when Usain was always winning,” Moses was quoted as saying on Stats Perform. “A lot of the meets wouldn’t even get television coverage unless he was coming into the race.
“That started happening back in the 80s where TV kind of got addicted. They wouldn’t cover the sport unless they had someone going for a world record.
“Track and field is like a three-ring circus – it takes a family in order to have a good track meet. I was really impressed with the shot put this year and the women’s triple jump.
“You have to have all these things going on. It’s not just about who’s going to be the fastest man or the woman fastest woman.
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“I was very pleased to see the 400 metres hurdles really be the marquee event of the Olympic Games, the men’s and the women’s. When I was running, it was a marquee event.
“There was a lot of focus on the 100 metres with Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis back then, but finally the 400 metres hurdles is at the peak of its history.”
Moses, the 1976 and 1984 Olympic 400m hurdles who also won world titles in 1983 and 1987, was happy to see the likes of Sydney McLaughlin and Karsten Warholm who both set world records in the long hurdles, along with American Athing Mu and Briton’s Keely Hodgkinson being appreciated for their contributions to track and field.