AFP | Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt labelled himself the underdog as he seeks to round off his glittering individual track career with the defence of his world 100m title this week.
These events have become part and parcel of every global championship and though Tuesday's version in east London lacked the dancing girl razzmatazz of his Rio welcome previous year, it scored heavily on nostalgia as every aspect of his stellar career was raked over anew.
In fact, one journalist even went as far as asking him what would happen should he lose his final race.
Bolt is an old hand of course and rolled out all the familiar answers, but always with grace.
He explained how his motivation to keep putting his body through such a punishing regime was renewed each year by resetting his goals - with one often created for him by a casually "disrespectful" remark from one of his opponents.
In a career spanning over 13 years, Bolt has amassed 11 world titles and eight Olympic gold medals along with the world records for the 100 and 200 metres, becoming one of the most famous athletes in the world in the process.
"I also want to congratulate you on being the second best athlete of Jamaica's track and field history", said Powell, with a laugh. When I go out there I am fully confident and ready to go - 100%.More news: Baltimore Police Plant Drugs, Fabricate Evidence, Again
"The last guy I said would be great disrespected me, so I am not going to say who will be great, I am just going to leave it to whoever shows up and is willing to fill my shoes". We're going to go in the right direction and I'm happy about that situation. "It's go-time, so let's go!"
Then, other than the relay a week later, he will be gone, leaving the sport without the man who has been its focal point for a decade.
Talk has been rife, however, that he could be about to return - and Bolt would love for a deal to go through.
"Oh yeah, sitting down, talking about it, no pressure", he said. "You have done an incredible job and I want to thank you for all you have done for track and field in the entire world", said Powell, whose world record of 9.74secs Bolt lowered to 9.72secs in 2008. Over time the sport will get better.
But Bolt insisted the sport was on the right path.
Bolt was reminded of key moments in his life that contributed to his legacy, and his parents surprised him by joining him on stage to present him with a special pair of Bolt Legacy Spikes, commemorating his journey as he prepares for his final race. I don't know what I want to do. "I enjoy the shorter distances", he said.