Roger Blitz has written an interesting story here about how Usain Bolt’s megastardom obscures underlying weakness in track and field athletics.
Set aside its showpiece global events and what is left is a sport struggling for sponsors and broadcasters, participants and a grassroots structure.
The earning power of its elite performers, even Usain Bolt, is small compared with their equivalents in other sports.
This prompted us to check how Bolt’s earnings compare with other top global sports stars. The answer, based on Forbes magazine’s latest ranking of the world’s highest-paid athletes, helps illustrate how far behind track and field has fallen. The Jamaican sprint champion is the only runner in the top 100 at a lowly 63rd. Even among athletes competing in London he ranks just eighth: