Usain Bolt’s glorious career ended in injury and agony on Saturday night as Great Britain’s men’s 4×100 metres relay team claimed a stunning gold medal at the World Championships in London.
The 30-year-old pulled up on the home straight as he sought to chase down the United States and Britain, hobbling for a few strides before falling to the track.
His team-mates gathered round him and the 19-time global champion was helped to his feet and limped over the line, applauding the crowd as he did so.
It was a sad way for Bolt to bring the curtain down on the greatest athletics career the world has ever seen, a man who has dominated, delighted and delivered ever since his record-breaking runs and gold medals at the 2008 Olympics.
A golden farewell was what he deserved.
But last weekend, when Bolt had to settle for 100m bronze and drug cheat Justin Gatlin took his title, was proof enough that sport does not do fairy tales, not even for Bolt.