‘I’m ready to go,’ declares Bolt
LONDON, England — Double sprint world record holder and defending 100m and 200m Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt, has declared that it’s now all about the Olympics having completed his preparation.
Bolt, who set four world records, two of his three 100m world records and his two 200m world standards in either the Olympic Games or the IAAF World Championships, says he is ready to roll.
Reggae music in the background set the mood as members of the media, that would rival a major track and field meet anywhere in the world with at least 40 TV crews and dozens of photographers, waited patiently for Bolt to show up for his first major interview since Trials in Jamaica last month. Bolt had trained in seclusion in Birmingham at the pre-Olympics camp.
The journalists came from all over the world, from as far as China, Japan, Russia, France, The Ukraine, Brazil, and Chile, and included Jamaican, American and British media personnel. They packed an auditorium in London yesterday and waited for over an hour to hear Bolt, who suffered back-to-back losses to teammate Yohan Blake at the Jamaican National Trials.
In front of a backdrop that said ‘Run Jamaica Run’, Jamaica Olympic Association president Mike Fennel welcomed the media horde. “Welcome to Jamaica, you are in Jamaica now,” before handing over the proceedings to British television broadcaster and Olympic silver medallist Colin Jackson.
Bolt, who will lead the Jamaican contingent out during tonight’s Opening Ceremony, said: "Carrying the flag is an honour. For my country Jamaica, I'll do anything, I will be on TV, highlighted. I'm happy. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
He blamed his less than spectacular showing at the Jamaican National Trials on a stiff lower back, explaining that the problem had affected his hamstrings, adding that he was back to full fitness and had been training very well.
Bolt is reported to have visited his sports doctor Hans Muller Wolfarth in Germany right after the Trials for one of his five annual checkups.
In response to why he trained behind closed doors with tight security in Birmingham, Bolt said it was a decision taken by coach Glen Mills. “Coach determines everything, he does not like the cameras at training.”
He said, however, he was “ready to go” and added he knew he was excited to be at the Olympics as he said he “felt a tingle when he arrived in the Athletes Village” earlier that day.
The athlete admitted that he would “definitely be disappointed” if he did not win, or at least came second. “This has been my goal for the past three years, this is what I want and this is my goal right now. Mentally I am always a strong person, I know what I want, I never worry about anything and I have a great team around me that always keeps me focused.”
If he repeats the double it would make him more relaxed going into next year. “I won’t have to work so hard but I will have to make new goals,” he said while repeatedly ruling out stepping up to the 400m.