MOSCOW (Reuters) - Unlike triple sprint champion Usain Bolt, the Moscow world championships were a slow starter and earned the verdict of seven out of 10, could try harder from the Jamaican.
“It’s been a different championships, not the best but I think over the days it got better,” a candid Bolt told a news conference on Sunday after adding the 4x100 meters relay gold to his 100 and 200 titles.
“Over the days they really changed a few things - a lot more people got more relaxed, a lot more people started smiling, a lot more people were in the stands so it picked up in the end.
“But the start wasn’t good so I give it seven out of 10.”
Bolt is the biggest name in athletics and used to being given rockstar treatment by thousands of screaming fans whenever he competes, so it came as a bit of a shock to find the Luzhniki stadium only two thirds full on the opening weekend for the 100 meters final, the sport’s blue riband event.
“I’m used to going to the 100 final with the stadium rammed, just packed, so that was different,” Bolt said.
“Just the fact that people could get close to us really easily. It was different, just little things, nothing major.”
The morning qualifying sessions at the stadium were particularly poorly attended during the August 10-18 championships with only a few hundred fans scattered around the cavernous Luzhniki, whose capacity had been reduced to 35,000 seats for the public for the event.
However, the final weekend was a sell-out and the atmosphere for the 200 meters final on Saturday and the 4x100 relay were more akin to those Bolt is used to as an adoring Russian crowd cheered his every move and demanded photos and autographs from the sprinter.
Editing by Justin Palmer