Bolt chases his­tory in Brazil Games

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here -

USAIN Bolt, who will com­pete in his fourth con­sec­u­tive Olympic Games next month, has out­lined his de­ter­mi­na­tion to leave an ined­i­ble mark on world sport by de­fend­ing his ti­tles.

The six-time Olympic cham­pion, who will de­fend his 100m, 200m and 4x100m re­lay crowns, has brushed aside talk of re­tire­ment, as he aims to make his­tory in Brazil by com­plet­ing an un­prece­dented “triple tre­ble”.

In what will likely be his last Games, Bolt is blink­ered in terms of ap­proach and won’t be drawn on when he will call time on his il­lus­tri­ous ath­let­ics ca­reer.

“Right now I’m not think­ing about re­tire­ment,” the 29-year-old su­per­star told Sport24 in an exclusive in­ter­view, when quizzed about when he could po­ten­tially make his fi­nal curtain call.

“My goal for this year has al­ways been to com­pete at the Olympics and that is what I am com­pletely fo­cused on,” the af­fa­ble ath­lete said.

There was talk in some cir­cles of Bolt per­haps adding the 400m or long jump to his reper­toire. How­ever, he ul­ti­mately opted against adding any new events to his race pro­gramme.

“I de­cided to con­cen­trate on the 100m, 200m and 4x100m re­lay. My aim is to win three gold medals in Rio. It would mean a lot to me per­son­ally and ce­ment my legacy as one of the greatest sports­men of all time.”

The Ja­maican re­veals that his prepa­ra­tions for the 2016 sea­son have proved sim­i­lar to how he has pre­pared in the past. How­ever, there has been one no­table point of dif­fer­ence. A pesky grade one ham­string tear threw a span­ner in the works, and Bolt only re­turned to com­pe­ti­tion in his first 200m of the sea­son dur­ing the An­niver­sary Games in Lon­don last Fri­day.

Bolt is ath­let­ics’ su­per­man, and while in­jury can be his kryp­tonite, he is fit and fir­ing for Rio.

“As I get older, I just have to take more care of my body, eat well and get ad­e­quate rest and re­cov­ery. For me, when I’m fit and healthy, I’m al­ways con­fi­dent that I will do well.”

Bolt is some­one who likes to strike a good bal­ance in life and he cred­its his man­ager and agent for ar­rang­ing his sched­ule in such a way that he is able to work hard and play hard.

“I train flat-out and al­ways lis­ten to my coach, but also like to re­lax away from the track,” said the fastest man in the world, who owns a bar in Kingston.

“I don’t think that I have changed much as a per­son over the years,” he con­tin­ued.

“I’m still close to my fam­ily, have the same cir­cle of friends and man­age­ment team. They are the peo­ple who help me stay grounded.”

Bolt speaks glow­ingly of his child­hood, which forged him into the man and ath­lete he is today. “I have great me­mories of my child­hood grow­ing up in Sher­wood Con­tent, ru­ral Ja­maica,” he said. “As a child, I had plenty of en­ergy and spent much of my time play­ing out­side.” Be­fore tak­ing up ath­let­ics, Bolt played foot­ball and cricket in the dusty streets. Ath­let­ics ul­ti­mately proved Bolt’s call­ing. Nev­er­the­less, he re­vealed that when he was younger he used to be quite ap­pre­hen­sive be­fore race meets, which is a far cry from the supremely self-as­sured su­per-ath­lete he has mor­phed into. He re­counts a par­tic­u­lar high-pro­file track and field event when he was 15-years-old. “I re­mem­ber be­ing very ner­vous ahead of the 2002 World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onships (hosted in Ja­maica), but ever since then I have been able to over­come fear. I don’t re­ally have a fear of fail­ure. I love com­pe­ti­tion and it’s the feel­ing of com­pet­ing and win­ning that keeps me mo­ti­vated to work hard in train­ing.” When the time comes to even­tu­ally hang up his spikes, Bolt out­lined that he will pur­sue sev­eral busi­ness in­ter­ests. He will con­tinue work­ing with some of his com­mer­cial part­ners, do am­bas­sado­rial work for the IAAF and will also have more time to work for the Usain Bolt Foun­da­tion. How­ever, for now, his fo­cus is fixed on at­tain­ing suc­cess at the Rio Olympics. — Sport24.

Usain Bolt

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