BIRMINGHAM, England — Global sprinting superstar Usain Bolt continues to conduct his pre-Olympic workouts away from the prying eyes of the public and especially members of the media, and yesterday skipped a media day organised by the management of the Jamaican team at the Munrow Sports Complex at the University of Birmingham, where the team has encamped since early last week.
Since arriving here after being beaten twice in one weekend by training partner Yohan Blake at the JAAA/Supreme Ventures National Championships, Bolt has kept his workouts secret, but reports are that he is back to, or approaching, his best form, after some rigorous workouts under the watchful eyes of sprint guru Glen Mills.
The flamboyant Bolt appears to have also tempered his ways and was only seen out twice — both with teammates — at a movie night on Sunday and again on Monday night at a dinner put on in their honour.
Yesterday, scores of journalists descended on the Munrow complex hoping for a glimpse of the man who is expected to set the Olympic stadium alight with his talent in over two weeks' time.
A number of other athletes showed up for what was a light training day including 400m hurdlers Melanie Walker and Kaliese Spencer, but Bolt and training partner Blake, as well as female sprinters Veronica Campbell Brown and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, were all no-shows.
At the track, and also during the press conference with team captains Michael Frater and Novlene Williams-Mills, Bolt's absence dominated proceedings and one female Brazilian television journalist asked whether or not he was injured.
Later on, a Japanese TV programme also questioned whether he was at full health.
There were indications that Bolt trained later in the day, however, as immediately following the press conference, journalists — including those from Jamaica — were blocked from returning to the track.
Stern-faced security men dressed in black, some with earpieces, told journalists that the track was closed "for a private workout", and even the steps leading up to the track were part of the embargoed zone.
Some enterprising spectators, who accessed a hillside across the road that gave them a view of the track, were removed by security personnel.