Usain Bolts admits he was tempted by shock Tokyo 2020 comeback

Track and field legend Usain Bolt has said his coach talked him out of a return ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Usain Bolt has said he was tempted to make a shock comeback to athletics in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games before his coach talked him out of the idea.

Speaking to the BBC, eight-time Olympic gold medallist Bolt, who retired in 2017, said he was keen to return to the track ahead of the Games but has now ruled out a comeback


"It's too late. If I was going to come back it would have been to be for this Olympics," Bolt said.

"When I told my coach I was going to retire he sat me down and said 'when you retire that's it. I'm not doing any comeback tours, nothing. So make sure you are ready to retire.'

"I remember I went to him in 2019 and said 'what do you think about coming back for the Olympics?' And he looked at me and said 'don't even start.'

"So if it's not my coach, I'm not going to do it, because I believe in him and if he says no, it's no -- but I've got that itch though."

Bolt, 35, also added he believes female Jamaican sprinters Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce can break the 100m and 200m world record set by Florence Griffith Joyner in 1988.

Thompson-Herah won gold in both the 100m and 200m at the Tokyo Games this summer, defending her Rio 2016 titles.

She became the second-fastest woman in history with a time of 10.54 last month, while Fraser-Pryce clocked the third-fastest quickest time less than a week later.

"When I saw the girls really stepping up, and really running fast I thought 'this could really happen'," Bolt said.

"Elaine's technique has really improved and the same with Shelly-Ann. She runs much more upright and her fluency looks way better. So I think these girls are going to be knocking on the door.

"People have talked about this record over the years. So if they can break it it would be massive for the sport."