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Rio Olympics 2016: Why Usain Bolt is loved by his fans

Usain has been the biggest star in world of sport in the past decade and now he is on the brink of yet more history.

Victory in the 200m final at Rio 2016 means the 29-year-old needs another win in the 4x100m relay alongside his Jamaican team-mates at 02:35 BST on Saturday to complete an unprecedented ‘treble treble’ of Olympic sprint golds in the 100m, 200m and relay.

He’s done it all while athletics has been struggling to maintain its popularity, a succession of doping scandals draining away people’s belief in what they’re watching.

It’s not too much of a stretch to describe Bolt as his sport’s saviour. His remarkable feats can, briefly, bring the world to a halt, while he possesses a magnetic appeal that transcends track and field and crosses generations.

Bolt’s performance as a great Athlete and his humility as a person have really endeared him to his fans round the world. Some of his fans actually traveled to rio to see Bolt in action.

fan1 “Jarno Metsaranta, from Finland: “We are here because we won a prize with a betting company, and the main prize is seeing Usain Bolt. I’ve never seen him before so It’s very exciting to see him live. It’s so different than seeing him on TV. Every time he wins something the Finnish media report on it, but I think it’s like that in every country. I think people love him because of what he does on the track and his personality.”

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fan2 “Shaun Johnson, from Jamaica: “He revolutionised the sport and put us on the map. He’s the next best thing since Bob Marley. He’s fun and humble. He entertains and hangs out with the locals. We enjoy what he’s done to the country, and he’s been the same Usain Bolt since high school. It’s been an amazing journey. After he won the 100m on Tuesday it was like a holiday. They’re going to build a statue once he retires for sure. He’ll be a legend.”

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fan3 “Mia Richardson, from Hexham: “He’s the athlete that got me interested in athletics. I was 10 when he did what he did in Beijing – the ease with which he won. He needs to be replaced. There are people like David Rudisha, but there needs to be someone breaking records and have a personality too. I follow him on Snapchat and he’s hilarious.”

fan4 “Gustavo, from Portugal: “He’s a phenomenon. He’s an incredible guy. It’s my unique chance to see the guy. He’s the fastest man in world and it’s something I’ll tell my children and grandchildren. Today is history.”

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