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  1. ITV Report

Usain Bolt: Anybody can fill the gap that I'll leave

Usain Bolt has said "anyone" can "fill the gap" that he will leave when he finally retires from athletics, as he sought to "inspire young kids" to take up the sport.

The nine-times Olympic Gold medalist told ITV News he has "no idea" how he will mark the moment of his final race at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, but added that he is "sure" he will "figure something out".

The Jamaican, who stormed onto the world stage at the Beijing Games in 2008, is launching a new film about his glittering career, which premieres in Leicester Square on Monday.

I am Bolt follows the sprinter during the 18 months leading up to Rio 2016, where he secured the 'triple triple' by winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relay, repeating his achievements from Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

"People just see me winning easy and they say 'oh this is easy I probably could do it' but they never see the background work that I put in, so this is the main reason that I really wanted to do it, to show people that it wasn't easy, " he told ITV News Correspondent Nina Nannar.

"I hope it can inspire young kids and inspire everybody, a generation, to be better at what they do."

Bolt said he still "wants to be a part of track of field" to help motivate people and promote the sport.

Usain Bolt in action at Rio 2016. Credit: Reuters

He admitted the sport has been "at its worse" when it comes to drugs scandals but "the only way is up".

"Nowadays there's a gap that needs to be filled and I try to tell the younger athletes: listen you have to understand, you could fill this gap if you want.

"So now you've got to stay focused, work hard and be the best that you can be.

"I've always talked to young athletes and said when I leave there's going to be a gap in the sport. Anybody can fill this gap, so who wants it? That's the question."

Usain Bolt wrapped up the triple triple in Rio. Credit: Reuters

Bolt revealed Jamica - where it is "always warm" - will remain his home, as it is less "crazy" to places like London, where fans "always want your picture".

And the sprinter, who became the first athlete to win three Olympic 100m titles in Rio, said it is a "great feeling" being compared to sport's greatest names like Muhammad Ali.

"I remember coming through the ranks and just always wanting to be a champion, just watching Muhammad Ali and Pele and all of these guys.

"Even in other sports they talk about the greats they talk about the greats and this is what I strive to be, so when people start saying 'you're like Muhammad Ali' for me it's a great feeling because that's what I really want.

"When I retire I want people to talk about me in the same breadth as these guys."

Bolt said it feels great to be compared to people like Muhammad Ali. Credit: Reuters

The Manchester United fan joked that he would "definitely be there" if manager Jose Mourinho called him up to play, but he is still unsure precisely what lies ahead for him in retirement.

"Everybody wants me to do TV, but for me I never know.

"The only two things I'm sure I'll be doing will be doing more work with my charity and I'll be staying around the sport of track and field, trying to motivate and trying to let people know that the sport is clean and is doing a better job of making sure that the sport stays focused.

"So for me that's my aim and my focus right now."

In an interview with ITV News, Bolt's father Wellesley Bolt laughed when he recalled a moment in the film that sees him disciplining his son as a schoolboy.

He said: "When he does anything wrong, I reprimand him a lot because I want him to grow up in the way we as parents want him to be.

"He went off track at school and I had to spank him for that.

"Of course, he doesn't retaliate when his parents deal with him. He just accepts the fact that he's wrong and he gets a spanking for it."

His mum Jennifer added that she would love to see her son settle down.

When asked if she would like grandchildren, she said: "Yes we do. But we just have to wait until he's ready."

Usain Bolt said anybody can fill the gap he leaves when he retires from athletics. Credit: Reuters