KEY POINTS

  • Reigning sprints and hurdles champion Karsten Warholm said Usain Bolt made a name for himself and didn't follow in somebody else's footsteps
  • Warholm insisted that everybody sprinter should also do the same
  • The Norwegian runner doesn't consider himself as "the next Bolt"

Sprints and hurdles world champion Karsten Warholm explained why he thinks neither he nor anybody else can ever replace Jamaica’s legendary sprinter Usain Bolt.

In a recent Instagram interview with four-time Olympic medal winner Ato Bolton, the reigning hurdles world champion was asked about his thoughts on the idea of following the footsteps of 20-time gold medalist.

According to the Norwegian sprinter, Bolt has set the bar too high that makes it impossible for competitors like him to surpass.

"When Usain Bolt came into the sport, he didn't have anyone right before him,” Warholm explained. “He didn't have any shoes to fill at that point. Now everybody talks about who's going to be the next Usain Bolt. Nobody is going to be the next Usain Bolt! Nobody is going to be the next Ato Boldon either.”

"I think everybody's got to find their own way, Usain Bolt was huge so it's an honor just being compared to him, but for me, it's always been about developing,” he continued. "I don't want to build myself up as the face of the sport or ‘the next Usain [Bolt]’ because for me, it's about the running. If what comes with it is that people get inspired by what I'm doing then I think that's great."

Warholm, who won the 400-meter hurdles to become a two-time world champion in 2019, has kept a good relationship with Bolt over the years.

Double world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm smashed the world record for the unorthodox 300m hurdles behind closed doors at a near-empty Bislett Stadion on Thursday Double world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm smashed the world record for the unorthodox 300m hurdles behind closed doors at a near-empty Bislett Stadion on Thursday Photo: NTB Scanpix / Lise Åserud

Unlike Warholm, Jamaican runner Yohan Blake admitted that he once wanted to be a renowned athlete like Bolt.

“I saw how Usain was still in Jamaica and he was running really fast,” Blake said in a press conference in India last year. “I thought to myself, ‘if Usain can stay in Jamaica and run fast, why can’t I?’ So that’s what I did.”

Over time, Blake learned that he could even be better than his fellow countryman. Unfortunately, he ran in the same era as Bolt, the only athlete in the world who has ever gone faster than his top speed of 9.69 seconds over the 100-meter distance.

“If you take Usain out of the picture, I’d be the fastest man,” he explained. “I feel like I was born at the wrong time. Nevertheless, I’m still proud of what I have achieved. It was Usain’s time. I was competing against a giant," Blake stated.

"When I beat him in Kingston (at the Jamaican Olympic trials), I had worked day and night. I should have won at the London Olympics too, but there were things going on behind the scenes which I won’t talk about."

Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt says he's self-quarantining after undergoing a COVID-19 test amid reports that it came back positive Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt says he's self-quarantining after undergoing a COVID-19 test amid reports that it came back positive Photo: AFP / PETER PARKS