Sprint superstar Bolt back with point to prove
London: Sprint superstar Usain Bolt looks certain to retain his world 200m crown and banish the demons of his 100m misery but his rivals will gain confidence from the knowledge he is human after all.
The Jamaican has a shot at redemption on the track in South Korea when he launches his 200m bid on Friday, just five days after his dramatic disqualification from the 100m final after a false start.
There are not too many flaws on Bolt`s CV coming into the 200m. He is reigning world champion, Olympic gold medallist and world record holder (19.19sec) and also world leader this season with a run of 19.86sec in Oslo.
This season he has beaten medal contenders Jaysuma Saidy Ndure of Norway, France`s Christophe Lemaitre and Panama`s Alonso Edward, 2009 world silver medallist, over the distance.
Bolt, who admits he is not in world record shape this season, has insisted he will not dwell on the disappointment of his disqualification, after which the anguished star tore off his singlet and held his head in disbelief.
"I have to move on now as there is no point to dwell on the past. I have a few days to refocus and get ready for the 200m on Friday," Bolt said earlier this week.
"After this I have the 4x100m and a few other races before the end of the season. I know that I am now in good shape and will focus on running well in the 200m."
"Thanks to all the people who sent me good wishes and I will try my best to make you proud in the 200m," Bolt added.
But a Twitter posting from the sprinter this week showed his emotions were raw amid the fallout following the pain of defeat.
"The haters in this world, they are many, but all they can do is hate, it`s a sad thing but true," he said.
Bolt has run three 200m Diamond League races this season, winning all three, with his narrowest margin of victory a comfortable 0.18sec.
Fellow Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade, the 2008 world junior silver medallist, is the only other man under 20sec while American Walter Dix, who won silver in the 100m here, has clocked 20.02sec.
European champion Lemaitre said Bolt was still the man to beat.
"I don`t think he`ll commit the same error in the 200m. He`ll be back up there. He is ahead of the others.
"I`m trying to do all I can to catch the Jamaican sprint train, to get myself to their level.
"I`m confident, it`s my favoured race. It`s where I stand the biggest chance of getting a medal," he added.
Injured sprinter Tyson Gay has said Bolt will come out flying in the 200m, predicting: "He`s going to put on his 2009 face and go to war."
100m winner Yohan Blake, Bolt`s compatriot and training partner, and bronze medallist Kim Collins both said he would have a point to prove.
The heats and semi-finals of the men`s 200m take place on Friday with the final scheduled for Saturday evening.