Usain Bolt has been euthanised after suffering a freak leg injury in Rome last night.
Bolt was competing in the prestigious Diamond League 100m final when he collapsed mid-race after his hamstring snapped. The tell-tale screens were erected around the stricken runner as he lay in distress on the track, only meters from the shocked crowd.
Bolt was assessed by the League’s doctor who found that the athlete would never race again due to the extent of his injuries. Bolt was euthanised immediately.
Bolt’s death caused an outpouring of grief on Twitter, with some calling for human racing to be scrapped altogether.
“Why do we let this happen over and over again #stophumanracing,” said one twitter user.
“#RIP Usain Bolt. If only they’d let you run free,'” wrote twitter user voice4athletes in a sentiment echoed by many on the social media site.
Diamond League spokesperson Esman Berella said ending Bolt’s life was the only humane course of action.
“Usain would never be able to run again, and if he lived he would be in pain for weeks or possibly even months,” said Mr Berella “Futhermore, the rehabilitation costs are prohibitive, so the best course of action for both trainer and athlete is to terminate immediately.”
Bolt’s connections are said to be inconsolable following their loss. Bolt’s trainer told The Skewer that Usain and his corporate sponsors were aware of the risks involved in human racing, but they were still in shock at losing their star performer.
The incident brings into focus the dark side to the glamorous sport of human racing. Usain Bolt had consistently been the world’s best performing racing human over 100m and was expected to have a long career retired to stud when his racing days drew to a close. Although thousands of unpromising younger runners are put down each year, the euthanasia of such a high profile athlete will undoubtedly foster debate about the future of human racing.
(Editor’s note for our confused international visitors: this article was written in response to the deaths of a number of ‘equine athletes’ at the recent Melbourne Cup, a local horse race.)
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