Hurting Bolt raring for some relay redemption
LONDON — Usain Bolt will run in the 4x100m relay heats for Jamaica on Saturday despite being sore after winning bronze in the 100m final on the weekend, he said on Monday.
Bolt usually runs in the 200m individual event but opted not to compete at that distance in London, which is his last major championships before he retires, and the 30-year-old therefore has the scope to compete in the relay heats this time.
“We’ ll see. We haven’t done any baton changes as yet with the guys, but I feel we are ready,” the 11-time world sprint champion said of his team’s chances.
“I have talked to Julian Forte (100m semifinalist) a little bit. I haven’t really talked to the youngsters so we’ ll see when it comes to the baton changes, but I’m always excited to run relays and see how the guys are preparing and what they’re ready to do.”
Yohan Blake is the only other experienced member of Jamaica’s sprint relay pool to have won medals at world championships or Olympics.
“Physically I am alright, there is a little bit of pain, but nothing a massage can’t cure, I’m taking it easy,” Bolt said of his condition two days after finishing third by equaling his season’s best, 9.95sec, in the 100m final.
“A little bit disappointed but such is life,” said the eight-time Olympic gold medalist of his bronze.
“I’ve done my best as always; went out there and gave my all and I’m just happy to be here and looking forward to the 4x100,” added the 100m and 200m world record holder, who has helped Jamaica win the past four world 4x100 titles.
Jamaica set the sprint relay world record of 36.84sec at the 2012 Olympics at London Stadium, while Bolt also has two Olympic 4x100 titles.
A third gold, from the 2008 Games in Beijing, had to be returned to the International Olympic Committee after Bolt’s relay teammate Nesta Carter was found guilty of doping.
Carter has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport asking that the Jamaican team be reinstated.
Meanwhile, Bolt continued to give credit to 100m gold medalist Justin Gatlin for his perseverance amid a hostile atmosphere at London Stadium, where fans booed the 25-year-old American throughout the sprint competition.
Gatlin has served two suspensions for doping.
“I’m just showing respect,” said Bolt. “We’ve been battling for years and he finally got one (gold); yes it’s at the end of my career but I have to show respect where respect is due,” added the Jamaican, who insisted his legacy remains intact.
“If you work hard throughout your life, I always say anything is possible and I can imagine how long he (Gatlin) has dreamed of this moment.
“I can’t be a sore loser; throughout my career I’ve dominated. I personally don’t think it (the bronze medal) has changed what I have done in any way,” Bolt said.
Usain Bolt strikes his trademark pose after finishing third in Saturday’s 100m final.