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Bolt’s breathtaking performances put him tops – Jamie Carragher

Published:Wednesday | October 12, 2022 | 12:10 AMHubert Lawrence/Gleaner Writer
Usain Bolt at the IAAF World Championships London 2017
Usain Bolt at the IAAF World Championships London 2017
Jamie Carragher during his playing days for Liverpool.
Jamie Carragher during his playing days for Liverpool.

THE INCOMPARABLE Usain Bolt has made an indelible mark on the world of sport and fans everywhere. Among them is former England international footballer Jamie Carragher who yesterday named Bolt among his top-three sportsmen of all time.

Carragher, the former Liverpool and England defender, named Bolt first in a trio that included boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Now serving as a football analyst for Sky Sport, Carragher expressed his amazement and admiration for the 100 and 200-metre world record holder.

“I chose people who I’ve watched. People always think of Muhammad Ali but people who have taken my breath away, watching them, and Usain Bolt, just watching him in the 100 metres and the 200 metres, how far ahead he was of everybody at the time,” said the Englishman.

Carragher was speaking in yesterday’s edition of the Sky Sports Premier League show.

Bolt won the Olympic sprint double in 2008, 2012 and 2016 and matched that with doubles at the World Championships in 2009, 2013 and 2015 with five individual world records along the way.

Bolt retired five years ago but his records – 9.58 seconds for the 100 and 19.19 for the 200 – still stand and haven’t really been challenged. He holds the second-fastest time ever in the 100m with his Olympic record of 9.63 seconds from the 2012 Games and compatriot Yohan Blake is the second-fastest of all time in the 200 at 19.26 seconds, a time recorded at the 2011 Brussels Diamond League meeting.

The 2005 Champions League winner listed Mayweather next.

“I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, the way he acts outside the ring, but in terms of just never being beaten. Every fight he’s had, he’s beaten everybody,” Carragher said of the American who was undefeated in a 21-year professional career winning 15 major world titles from super featherweight to light middleweight.

Carragher’s last pick was seven-time snooker world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. “It’s not just that Ronnie O’Sullivan is the best snooker player of all time. He can play both hands. I know people say football, both feet, but playing snooker left-handed, and getting a 147 in five minutes... No one else is ever going to do that,” he said of his fellow Englishman.

Carragher was paired with former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on the show and Keane named iconic American heavyweight boxer Ali as his number-one pick.