Bolt nervous ahead of season debut

Bolt nervous ahead of season debut

A more bulked-up Bolt flexes his muscles on Tuesday ahead of the Rome Diamond League meet. REUTERS

The Jamaican, who cut his season short last year with back and achilles' tendon injuries after losing to American Tyson Gay in Stockholm, will face compatriot Asafa Powell and France's Christophe Lemaitre in the third Diamond League meeting on Thursday.

"It's never pressure but, for the first time, I'm slightly nervous because I haven't run for a long time," Bolt told a news conference after emerging from a gaggle of photographers. "I'm looking forward to competing and to racing without an injury. I want to see where I'm at. I'm not expecting anything. I just want to get through the race."
Bolt said Gay's victory last year had meant "absolutely nothing".

"You lose some, you win some. You can never win every race in your entire career." he said. "Last season was not my best season. I took some downtime. This season is back to business. I want to prove to the world that I'm still the best."

Bolt, who suffers from curvature of the spine, confirmed he had seen a specialist in Munich before deciding when to time his return to the track but said the visits were nothing out of the ordinary. "The doctor gave me the okay," he said. "I wouldn't say I was in perfect condition but in good shape. I haven't really had any problem with my back. I do the work but I need to get my regular checkups. "I can't really say what could be my time as I haven't run all season. Normally I would have done a couple of races by this time of the year but I can't predict how fast it will be. I've been doing good in training so I hope it's going to be a very good time."

Looking more muscular than before, Bolt said he had trained hard for the new season, which includes the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, starting in August. "I've put more muscle on, and done a lot of work. That's why I may be look bigger," said Bolt, flexing his biceps and breaking into a broad smile. "I don't know yet how I will race. We'll definitely see on Thursday.