In the bowels of the Olympic stadium in Rio de Janeiro last year, Usain Bolt was dressed in a yellow and green jersey, the colours of his native Jamaica, and discussing his future.

He had just won gold in the men’s 100 metres, his third Olympic title over the distance, to confirm his status as the greatest sprinter in history.

Asked how much longer he could continue racing, he replied: "Hopefully, the dream won’t stop," with a typically toothy smile. "They never catch me." Though Bolt has since accepted the dream must end, his rivals could still fail to catch him. Aged 30, he has announced his last race will be at this year’s world athletics championships, which began in London’s Olympic stadium on Friday. If all goes to plan on Saturday night, Bolt will beat a line-up of the fastest men on earth to win his fourth 100m world title. He will adopt his signature victory pose, called "To Di World", fingers pointed upwards as though sending a lightning bolt into the ether. In front of adoring fans, he will take a lap or two of honour. He could appear again next week, to anchor Jamaica in the 4 x 100m relay. But then, with running spikes in hand, Bolt will retire from the sport. An untouchable champion on the track, Bolt is an irresistible force off it. Last year, he announced his arrival in Rio at a press conf...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now