Perfect birthday gift for Bolt

Jamaican says he is not offended by drug suspicion

Usain Bolt acknowledges the crowd after his 200M win on Thursday. AFP

Bolt, who turned 23 on Friday, treated the near-capacity crowd to another glorious exhibition of his talent and, with the 100 and 200 metres world records in his bag, said he was well on his way to achieving his aim.

“My main aim is to become a legend, and that is what I am working on. It’s a great feat for me to have broken my world record. I didn’t know I was going to break it by that much, I just tried my hardest and I am happy,” Bolt said after timing 19.19 seconds in the 200M final to add to the 9.58 in the 100M he clocked last Sunday.

The Jamaican got off to a fast start – his reaction time of 0.133 second was the quickest among the eight finalists – and never looked back, even after sealing his dominance in the straight, leaving Panama’s Alonso Edward and American Wallace Spearmon to fight for the minor medals. He said the start was the key to the final.

“I said early in the season that I had to get my start right. I worked hard on it and that was the key in the final,” explained Bolt, brushing aside suggestions he was under pressure to break the record. “I don’t put myself under any pressure. When I go out there, I know what to do, so I just go out and execute.”

Near-perfect execution

It was a near-perfect execution and the biomechanical analysis conducted on the race by the experts here made for interesting reading: Bolt ran the first 100M in 9.92 seconds but his second 100M took only 9.27. His split timings read: 5.60 seconds for the first 50 metres, 4.32 for the second, 4.52 for the third and 4.75 for the final 50 metres.

Inevitably, the question of drugs came up but Bolt said he wasn’t offended by it. “I keep telling people I am clean, but I can’t make anyone believe it. I just have to keep running and training. I get tested all the time. I don’t get offended by the question because I know year after year, people have run fast and then they’ve tested positive. I just continue running and one day people will stop asking that question.”

Bolt clarified on his remarks about running the 100M in 9.4 seconds after his world record in the shorter sprint. “I didn’t say I could run 9.4, I said 9.4 was possible. I don’t put limits on myself, I just go out and run as hard as I can. Anything is possible. I just went and ran 19.19, I didn’t think I could run 19.19,” he said.

The Jamaican giant looked weary after his exploits here and he admitted it, saying he was looking forward to a long sleep. “I am very tired right now. I just want to go and get some sleep. That is how I plan to celebrate my birthday,” he said
But before he can sign out from Berlin, Bolt has more work to do, in the 4x100 relay. “I won’t be running the rounds but the important thing is to get the baton around. I just hope we can get it around and I go home with three gold medals!”
The first man to hold the 100 and 200M Olympic and world titles at the same time, Bolt joked it would be nice to be knighted by the Queen. “If Queen Elizabeth knighted me, I will get the title Sir Usain Bolt? That would be nice,” he quipped.

DH News Service

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