Exclusive: Three superstars to take over from Usain Bolt – Jonathan Edwards

When Usain Bolt steps away from athletics the sport will need a new superstar to step up in his place. Eurosport’s new lead presenter Jonathan Edwards has three athletes in mind.
While triple jump world record holder Edwards does not believe there is anyone who can inspire like Bolt did at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he sees three individuals who could assume superstar status in the sport.
“I don’t think there’s another Bolt out there – someone who could grab the world’s attention in the way that he did,” Edwards told Eurosport.
“Not that I see at the moment, even though there are some very, very talented athletes.”
Edwards singled out a 23-year-old British athlete as being particularly capable of making a significant move on the world stage.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson
“From a British point of view, I think Katarina Johnson-Thompson in the heptathlon is potentially a superstar,” Edwards said.
“She has had her injuries, but the range of abilities she has shown from the long jump, the high jump and with her sprinting – she could be a superstar.
“There is something about her: the camera loves her, she has got a great personality and she is very open and honest with what she says.
“She is very appealing to young people and I think if she were to become an Olympic champion then she could be a big, big superstar.”
“The battle between her and Jessica Ennis-Hill could potentially be one of the highlights in Rio.”

Kirani James
Another 23-year-old who Edwards believes has significant strides still to make before he realises his full potential is an athlete who already has an Olympic title to his name.
“In the 400m, Kirani James has got great potential,” Edwards said.
“It would be brilliant to see him begin to attack Michael Johnson’s world record.”
David Rudisha
Finally, Edwards picked out an Olympic champion from 2012 who has suffered terribly with injuries since he triumphed in London, but who could still have his best days ahead of him.
“Obviously David Rudisha in the 800m,” Edwards concluded.
“I would love to see him regain his form from London 2012 after his injury problems.”
There may not be a sprinter with the personality and talent of Bolt coming through, but if the three stars picked out by Edwards enjoy peak form and fitness in Rio and beyond, athletics has a lot to look forward to.

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