Athletics fans have criticised the BBC for its “terrible judgement” in failing to show Usain Bolt’s final lap of the Olympic stadium at the end of the World Championships in London.
The world’s fastest man bade one last, emotional goodbye to athletics on Sunday night – with a lap of honour and a farewell interview – after dominating the sport for the past decade.
But instead of broadcasting the historic moment in full, the BBC chose to show the medal table on-screen, with brief clips of Bolt which were talked over by presenters and studio guests.
Twitter was not impressed.
So, athletics says farewell to the great Usain Bolt and the BBC decides on a bit of earnest chin scratching. Terrible judgement. #London2017
— Terry Payne (@TerryPayne_) August 13, 2017
@BBC Very disappointed to have missed Usain Bolt's Tribute. Such disrespectful coverage at the Championship Games.
— Tamlyn Munslow (@Tamlynmunslow) August 13, 2017
Well I really enjoyed the no coverage of Usain Bolt's farewell on the BBC. Why wasn't it shown?! Madness. #London2017
— janine (@LiveToWhim) August 13, 2017
Not to worry BBC. None of us wanted to see Usain Bolt being interviewed in the stadium anyway #AthleticsWorldChampionships
— Pete (@pistoltweet) August 13, 2017
— @MrsR1ck (@MrsR1ck) August 13, 2017
— Susan Davis (@davishelensusan) August 13, 2017
— Natalie (@tilly1292) August 13, 2017
— Gabriella ❤️? (@silvxrsky) August 13, 2017
When contacted by RadioTimes.com for comment, a BBC spokesperson said: “Usain’s presentation, of which we did show the majority live, was made at the end of what has been an action-packed ten day Championship with much to reflect back on during the final evening.
“We have fittingly honoured Bolt’s incredible career across the course of the Championships, including a very special tribute from Michael Johnson last evening.”
You can catch a brief clip of Bolt’s farewell interview, which could not be heard on the BBC broadcast, here:
After 11 medals ..the champion retires. Usain Bolt of Jamaica ?? pic.twitter.com/NsO58u87CS
— Sure Kamhunga (@sure_kamhunga) August 13, 2017
Bolt was presented with a section of the track from London 2012 by athletics chief Seb Coe and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
The 30-year-old Jamaican athlete ended his career in a dramatic fashion on Saturday night, when he pulled up on the track due to hamstring cramp as he ran for Jamaica in the 4x100m relay final, in which Team GB secured gold.
Earlier in the competition, Bolt failed to win his last 100m race, instead securing a bronze medal while American sprinters Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman won gold and silver.
“I don’t think one championship is going to change what I’ve done,” he said in his farewell press conference. “After losing the 100m someone said to me: ‘Usain, don’t worry Muhammad Ali lost his last fight also, so don’t be stressed about that.’
“I’ve proven myself year in year out, throughout my whole career. My fans asked me to go on one more year and I did it for them.”