Is it crazy to even think it? Almost certainly. Since retiring in 2017, Bolt’s social media feed has shown a life of private jets, partying and generally enjoying himself without having to worry about staying in shape. But without Coleman, the path to a medal is considerably easier if the 19-time global champion could be tempted to return and is able to get back in shape to run somewhere around 9.80/9.90sec by next summer. Is it conceivable? Yes. Will it happen? Don’t put any money on it.
Best of the rest
The fastest 400m runner in the world in 2018 and 2019, Michael Norman ran his first 100m for four years this summer and clocked a world-leading 9.86sec. He is unlikely to contest the event at the Olympics, but is certainly fast enough. Fellow American Ronnie Baker set a 9.87sec personal best when he was the second fastest man in the world in 2018, but is yet to make a global international team outdoors.
Nigerian Divine Oduduru won the national collegiate 100m title in America last year in an eye-catching 9.86sec, while Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut has vast experience at major events with a personal best 9.86sec. Then there is Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, who is not the force he was after hamstring problems but regularly runs below 10 seconds and finished fifth at last year’s World Championships.