Usain Bolt eyes Rio after edging closer to medal record

Last Updated: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 15:26

Moscow: Usain Bolt revealed a track master plan that includes defending his Olympic sprint titles in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 after powering to a third successive world 200m title on Saturday.

It was the Jamaican`s seventh world gold medal after winning the 100 and 200m at the Berlin worlds in 2009, the 200m in Daegu in 2011, the 100m in Moscow on Sunday and golds as part of the winning Jamaican 4x100m relay squads in both 2009 and 2011.

Bolt now has the opportunity to draw level with the present mark of eight world gold medals won by retired American duo Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson when he races the 4x100m relay on Sunday.

But the 26-year-old, who also has six Olympic golds to his name, insisted that that record counted for nothing.

"My main goal was to make myself a legend," he said after comfortably winning at the Luzhniki Stadium in a world-lead best of 19.66sec despite easing off fully 15 metres from the finish line.

Jamaican teammate Warren Weir won silver in 19.79sec, with unheralded American Curtis Mitchell, a training partner of the banned Tyson Gay, taking bronze in 20.04.

"My goal is to defend my titles at the next Olympics as it hasn`t been done before by anyone, and this world championships is a stepping stone towards that goal," said Bolt.

"I`m working hard to pile on gold medals and remain undefeated in championships, then go to the Olympics and win the 100 and 200m again.

"I`m not worried about winning medals and counting them."

Bolt, who won three golds (100, 200, 4x100m relay) in both the Beijing Games in 2008 and in London last year, said: "I want to go to the Olympics in Rio and dominate.

"The key thing now, getting older and I missed a couple of weeks (this season through injury), is that it`s getting harder to run as fast," he said, stressing that any idea of him participating in the long jump had been shelved.

"I have to be focused (in the run-up to Rio). I can`t mess around and get injured during the long jump. It`s been decided I`m not going to do the long jump."

Bolt is the world record holder in both the 100 and 200m (9.58 and 19.19sec respectively set in the Berlin worlds in 2009), but he said trying to go one better was not important.

"For me it`s all about winning championships," he said. "I never stress about times. If I can run 20sec flat and win the 200m, I`d be happy.

"It`s all about winning gold medals."

Turning to the race itself, in his self-proclaimed favoured event, Bolt said he knew had the beating of the field with 50 metres to go.

"After 150 metres, you can tell if you`re going to win or not," he said. "I looked across and saw Warren, who looked tired, checked my left and saw no one.

"The 200m is my favourite event so this victory is very important for me. I`m always slightly more nervous before the race than for the 100m.

"I have a few more races to go this season and my coach (Glen Mills) told me not to push too hard if it was possible, so I backed off a little bit."

Bolt said that a race over 600m against newly-crowned double world 5,000-10,000m champion Mo Farah of Britain had not been set in stone.

"It hasn`t been confirmed," said Bolt, who shares the same agent as Farah. "It`ll probably be next season if it`s going to happen.

"My main focus is to try very hard not to get injured and the (2014) season should be good."

AFP



First Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 15:28

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