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May 28, 2020

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The fastest sprinter in the world he may be, but Usain Bolt still has to make the Jamaican team for the Olympics in London starting next month.

And it is with next week's trials in Kingston in mind that the reigning double Olympic sprint champion is tackling his 100m outing at the Diamond League meet here on Thursday.

"I can't complain. The key thing is that I'm injury free and that's always a good thing. Everything's been coming together slowly but surely. I'm happy where everything is at, I'm making progress,'' Bolt said.

The 25-year-old rebounded from a "slow'', albeit winning performance in Ostrava in 10.04sec with a blistering 9.76sec in Rome last week, blaming his performance in the Czech Republic on a lack of sleep and chilly conditions.

"I came to Europe to run these races to make sure that everything was going well and my coach could analyse my race and figure out what was going wrong to work on it and get me ready for the trials and Olympics.''

Bolt will be up against compatriot Asafa Powell, the former world record holder who has run an amazing 76 sub-10sec 100m but has lost 10 of his 11 races against the current world record holder in both the 100 and 200m.

"This race is very important because it puts you in a good state of mind,'' said Powell, making his sixth appearance at the Bislett Games.

"It makes you very comfortable with competing and going into the trials, it shows it shouldn't be a big problem to make it through.''

Bolt played down comments by American Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion who has been in resurgent form after returning from a long drugs ban, that he wouldn't settle for anything less than gold come the London Games.

"Nobody wants to be second or third place. Everybody wants gold so it's what you do on the day that counts. That's what everybody wants - gold,'' said Bolt, who has won all but one of his 11 races against Powell.

"There's a lot or running left to go. I'm never worried about one direct person, it's about seven persons in the lanes beside me.

"I focus on what I do, my technique. I'm just looking forward to my trials first and then the Olympics.''

Asked which event he preferred, Bolt said: "I love my 200m and that's what I always dreamed to be, the 200m champion, because that's what I started out in.

"But the 100m is the glory event and I definitely want to double.''

Bolt also suggested that a time of sub-19sec could potentially be on the cards on a perfect day.

"You can't pinpoint the time, but over the years, me and my coach (Glen Mills) have discussed 18sec, running under 19. It's just a thought, we haven't really said it's possible that I could do it.

"If everything goes well, execution is right, you never know, it could be possible.''


Source: www.nzherald.co.nz