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Usain Bolt Desperate for Impactful Role in Track and Field: "As Long As They Want Me"

Usain Bolt said he is anxious to help revive the sport that helped him become a household name but has suffered somewhat since his departure six years ago.

After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Jamaican, who dominated men's sprinting for over a decade, claimed he had found enough to keep himself occupied but was very anxious to be active in athletics.

“I spend my time doing a lot of family things, when it comes to track and field, not as much as I would want to, but I still try and stay in touch with what is going on,” the 36-year-old told Reuters.

“I've gone out to World Athletics and let them know that I would love to have a greater effect in sports, as long as they want me to, but I'm still waiting for a job from them.

We've spoken, but we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

While acknowledging that his charisma was a key component in the success of track and field during his period, Bolt said he could see indications that competitors like American sprinter Noah Lyles could be beginning to fill the charm void.

“There will be a procedure. The eight-time Olympic gold medalist said, “After me, everything sort of fell down because of who I was as a person and how huge my personality was.

“However, I believe things will get better in time. Young athletes are emerging, and I notice a few personalities required in sports; perhaps, this will change in the next years.

“Hopefully I can contribute and aid in the development of the sport.”

Although the attendance at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, last year was disappointing, Bolt believed that the Paris Olympics the following year may mark a significant turning point for the sport.

“Sometimes it's all about where it is, America is not the biggest track and field place,” he said.

“I believe Paris will be significant since it is accessible and I am aware that throughout the years, Paris has consistently had a strong squad and players. I thus anticipate that.

At the previous two World Championships, Jamaica's men have not taken home a single track gold medal, despite a decade of Bolt-inspired worldwide supremacy.

Bolt, though, sees some potential for victory in the young sprinters Oblique Seville and Ackeem Blake at this year's championships in Budapest.

“I was quite pleased since Seville finished fourth (in the 100m) last year. Ackeem Blake, a small child, is also stepping up right now. Therefore, in my opinion, that's a good start, said the 11-time world champion.

“I'm hoping that these two will inspire other young people to step up, train harder, and be more committed.”

Women's sprints are still dominated by Jamaica, and Bolt promised to watch compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce closely at the World Championships in August.

Fraser-Pryce, who is 36 as well, will compete in Hungary for a record-breaking sixth world 100m gold, 14 years after making her debut in the sport's grand finale.

Bolt remarked, “I follow Shelly a lot because we went through the same era, so to see her continue running while recovering from giving birth is impressive.”

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