Donovan Bailey, the 1995 World 100m champion, believes that there will be a huge void to fill at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha as for the first time in a decade there will be no Usain Bolt.

It is also because of Bolt’s absence that the former world record holder believes the 100m will be a wide-open affair notwithstanding the presence of 2017 World Champion Justin Gatlin and the fastest man of 2019 Christian Coleman.

“[Bolt’s absence] will be a massive void, an absolutely massive void. I think Bolt just showing and waving would do the sport a world of good. It is clear that you can’t be a star without being a champion. That’s how it worked for myself and Bolt, Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis,” said Bailey, who will be a pundit for the championships on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

“And it’s also a fact that we’re stuck in a place where there are athletes that are tainted. I am to be the only world champion and Olympic champion, me and Bolt without taint, the only two.

“So we are hoping that Coleman and all these guys understand the level of pressure they’re under and what they uphold and keep.”

Turning his attention to the men’s 100m, Bailey said the likes of Gatlin, Coleman and DeGrasse are just some of the athletes who he believes can snatch the crown of the fastest man in the world.

“In 2019, the sprints are wide open. Coleman has had a little bit of an issue but I think the 100m is still a bit of a toss-up. Gatlin is going to be there, Coleman is definitely going to be there, Degrasse, but we also have (Akani) Simbini, (Zhenye) Xie, there are probably five or six people who could be 100m champions this year.

Source: Leighton Levy