Despite doubts surrounding his fitness in recent weeks the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt remains confident that London will be the place he cements his status as a bona fide track and field legend.
Bolt has dominated the sport since grabbing the attention of the world with spectacular performances at the 2008 Biejing Olympic Games. Four years on, spurred on by hopes of being regarded as one of the greatest ever, the sprinter has his eyes set on a repeat, but although favoured by some to retain both the 100m and 200m titles, Bolt, perhaps more than any other time in his career will be under severe pressure.
Back-to-back defeats at Jamaica’s Olympic Trials over both distances by his teammate Yohan Blake, and a reported hamstring injury heading into the Games has cost some to speculate on the sprinter’s ability to realise his ambitions, but the 25-year-old isn’t among them.
“This will be the moment, and this will be the year, when I set myself apart from other athletes in the world,” Bolt told UK-based publication The Guardian
“A lot of legends, a lot of people, have come before me,” Bolt says. “But this is my time.”
In addition to the recent losses, however, the sprinter has had other eyebrow-raising result in recent months that have served to cast a shadow on his claims of being the world’s best. At last year’s Daegu World Championships Bolt lost his 100m crown to Blake after false starting in the 100m final. In May, in Ostrava, there were more problems with his start as the sprinter went on to record one of the slowest times in his professional career 10.04, after falling asleep in the blocks. In the loss to Blake three weeks ago, Bolt found himself in the same situation forced to make a late-race surge after a bad start. The defending champion, however, believes extra work with his coach Glen Mills and the purchase of a pair of Omega blocks, the same ones that will be used at the Games should help correct the fault.
“I’ve actually bought some blocks that we’re going to be using at the Olympics and I’ve been training with them. I will be much more comfortable and much more consistent starting with those blocks at the Olympics,” Bolt said.
“Each training session I’m getting better and better. I have no other duties now, no worries, it’s all about training, eating and sleeping. I have a lot more time and can put a lot more effort into training. I’m feeling better every day. As long as I’m feeling myself I’m definitely in no doubt I can go to the Olympics and win.”