The great Jamaican will retire after the IAAF World Championships in London, bringing the curtain down on an incomparable career.
But in the 100m final on Saturday he had to settle for bronze as the controversial American Justin Gatlin secured a surprise victory in a season’s best 9.92 seconds.
Compatriot Christian Coleman (9.94) took silver, with eight-time Olympic champion Bolt, still the reigning 100m and 200m world record holder, in bronze, clocking 9.95 seconds.
Gatlin entered London’s Olympic Stadium with the crowd’s boos ringing in his ears. The 35-year-old is regarded by many as the sport’s villain after twice being banned for doping offenses. He was also jeered in the heats and semifinals.