‘I still have it’ – Olympic legend Usain Bolt says he had an offer to come out of retirement but coach halted his comeback plans

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Usain Bolt has revealed to talkSPORT that he was once offered the chance to come out of retirement and race again.

Bolt is widely regarded as the greatest sprinter of all-time following an illustrious and record-breaking career on the track.

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Bolt is one the greatest athletes of all-timeCredit: Getty

The Jamaican, who won eight gold medals at the Olympics, still holds the world record for the quickest 100m sprint with 9.58 seconds, which he set at the 2009 World Championships.

He retired in 2017 after the World Championships in which the 37-year-old pulled up with a hamstring injury towards the end of the 4x100m relay.

However, when speaking exclusively to talkSPORT from Soccer Aid training, Bolt recalled the time he was presented with an opportunity to return to the track.

Andy Goldstein asked if he had ever been offered big money to race again, to which he said: “Yeah definitely. I think the CEO at the time, he’s with Adidas now, but at the time he was like, ‘Listen, we’ll give you a proper contract if you want to come back.’

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“I talked to my coach [Glen Mills], my coach was like, ‘Absolutely not’. It was like two years after I retired, but my coach told me, ‘Listen, if you’re going to retire, that’s it. I’m not going to coach you again, this is it. There’s no coming back after this.’

“So when I went to him he was like, ‘No, absolutely not.’ I was like, ‘You know what? I would do it,’ because when you go away from a sport, then you start missing it.

“So I’m like, ‘I think I might get into it again,’ and I went to [my coach] and he was like, ‘Nah,’ shut it down real quick.”

Goldstein then asked how long it would take for him to get back to fitness, to which Bolt remarked: “It depends on how dedicated you are to it, you know what I mean?

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Bolt says he has previously had an offer to come out of retirementCredit: talkSPORT

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The Jamaican won the gold medal in the 100m event at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic GamesCredit: AFP

“But probably it’s like seven months to get fit because of the age, but to get sharp is like a year and three months because you have to do races to get sharp and to get better.

“He knows [Drive co-host Darren Bent], if you play football you’ve got to do it so you get sharp and ready and quick on your toes.”

Olympic legend Usain Bolt insists that none of the current crop of sprinters have the ‘talent’ to break his 100m record

Bolt then admitted that he hasn’t recently measured how quickly he could run 100m, before Goldstein revealed a challenge that he and Bent thought of when he arrived at Soccer Aid training.

He wondered if he could beat Bolt in a race – giving himself the starting point from the halfway line as a head start.

“I still have it, you know what I mean?” Bolt replied, before cheekily adding: “You’re looking really slow.”

When discussing how he’d fare in the Olympics today against current athletes, Bolt remarked: “9.80 is fast! But it’s true, you watch and… I think Fred [Kerley] ran 9.70 once to win, but it’s mainly 9.80, 9.90…

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“It’s always 9.80. And 9.80 is like… it’s regular, do you know what I mean? If I’m not in [the] best of shape.

“My coach said to me before I retired, ‘You know you can go on and on and on if you want’. I asked why and he said no one is getting faster. You’re the one getting slower.

“I sat down and I was like ‘he’s not lying!’ Because my times started going backwards because I get injured or it took me a while to get fit. He made a valid point.”

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The 37-year-old’s 100m record he set in 2009 still stands todayCredit: AFP or licensors

“I miss the competition,” he also said. “When I sit and watch the World Championships or the Olympics now, your blood starts to boil, you just want to be out there.

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“Especially the guys that are not doing that well so I’m like, ‘If I was there, I’d be doing so much better.’ You know what I mean?

“So you really want it, but then you remember how hard you have to train and you’re like, ‘Nah forget it.'”